Curse of the creative mind. Tortured Artist. Perhaps you have heard the term. It may even seem to be a bit dramatic, but it is complete and utter truth. There is something to be said for those that ‘deal’ with it. Constant inspiration, visions, dreams, plans, ideas… it can truly be exhausting. Sensory overload. It’s like you are walking through life with all of your wires exposed and you are constantly experiencing shocks and sparks by what you come across day to day. And there are millions of wires. And millions of sparks.
It’s the individuals who hear a song while a movie plays in their head. It’s those who dream dreams upon dreams and who are crazy enough to make them happen. It’s those who jump into new ideas too fast only to find themselves hanging on for dear life in the middle of madness. The work is never finished. The goal is never met. The idea is never big enough. There is always something more. Always another project. Always another something. And it’s a craving that can never be satisfied. So many ideas so little time.
Yesterday I came across a family who sold everything they had to live out an adventure on the road, seeing all there is to see in this great country all from their Airstream. Today I was searching local Craigslist ads for vintage campers and how-to articles on gutting and revamping said campers.
I work somewhere in the range of sixty hours per week, not including waking up in the middle of the night. I work sixty hours a week because there is too much I am thinking of. Too much I want to do. Too many ideas I want to get out of my head, too many photographs I want to create, too many goals I want to see become reality.
I’m shooting a commercial this weekend. I’ve never done it before and I’m diving in. We are currently planning a vacation up north to our family cabin in Idaho and I am already planning a few stops for photo shoots. The thought of fresh scenery and new people has my mind stirring. And the photographs I envision and will create have me swooning. Last week I wanted to live on the beach. This week I want to be in the mountains of the North West.
At night I lie awake in bed and after 45 minutes or so, I throw the covers off, step quietly downstairs, grab a notebook and start jotting, sketching, listing… whatever is in my head has to come out on paper. I registered for a still life and food photography workshop in Seattle this Fall because I want to know how to do it really well. I have no idea what I will do with it, but I have to learn it. Because if I don’t apparently I will spontaneously combust.
I have sat down and branded five different celebrities complete with logo and color scheme because I couldn’t get the ideas out of my head as I watched the Oscars. On any given day, I can imagine myself in ten different lines of work, all in the artistic field of course. Next week I have it on my to-do list to go pick up oil paints even though I have never worked with them before nor am I a painter.
My family is full of highly intelligent people. This gift was obviously not passed onto me for which I would like to flip the bird to the universe for skipping my number. My grandmother is a mensa, my mother is a CPA and my older sister tested into Harvard and was accepted because she ‘just felt like taking a class online and furthering her education’. It’s no surprise that they have never really understood me. Heck, I don’t understand myself half the time, but at least these zany ideas keep life interesting and those around me on their toes. Just ask my husband. Bless that man. And maybe life with the zany ideas and violent creative outbursts is better than none at all. Who knows. But there is a dark side to having a creative mind. And I have the circles under my eyes to prove it.
So cheers to all of you fellow tortured artists out there. I feel your pain.