One of the things I missed most during my hiatus from the arts when I was in production purgatory is what I term the Artists’ High. As I have never taken mind-altering drugs, I imagine that such a feeling is the closest I will probably be to an out-of-body experience. Having exercised and being in good shape at various points in my life, it feels very much like a runners high. It feels like a slow release of endorphins, time seems to slip away, and there is the peace of DOING. It also reminds me a little of drone work in how one can slip away in the repetition of the process. But it’s so much better in that you are pushing something in one’s mind, letting a spirit of self pass through you. This push can be slight, or it can be rapid and dramatic. Sometimes you know it’s going to occur, but sometimes an inspiration can take one in a very different direction. That is one of the cool things about it. Although an artist has a plan, what they do can sometimes even surprise themselves.
One of the reasons I like the creative process is it is how I imagine sailing a ship at sea would be. An artist merely guides the ship of creativity, following the winds wherever it takes him or her. Sometimes, if we are brave enough (or stupid enough sometimes) it takes us somewhere different, and unique to us. Then it becomes exciting.
Something else that I feel when I am engaged in the Artists High is almost being the spectator to the process. My hand and mind start trading little secrets so quickly that one part of me feels slightly disconnected from the process. Yet I feel so in the moment, so together at the same time. It is a strange feeling, although I’m sure most artists feel it, especially those who do it with frequency. Besides the need for approval from our audiences, that is another reason I’m sure we do our art. It takes away pain and gives pleasure. It’s also a reason I feel more than a bit down when I have had to stop. All that chemical transcendental pleasure is taken away from us and rots.
And when we finish. We remember the process, and we remember the disconnection. We learn, but sometimes we can still be amazed at what we made. I sometimes forget that I can draw. Then I pick up a pencil and then I say….”oh yeah, that’s right! I remember now!”
Finally, FINALLY I am doing art with more and more frequency. When I put my mind to it, it comes back quickly. My creativity is coming back. And I LIKE it!
I hope you will like it too.