Please Kill Me,
There’s a cloud of insanity that settles over my creative endeavors. It’s always seemed to be one of the caveats, to me. One of those odd concessions that we gloss over–whilst in the throes of creative passion. We think a thing. We like the thing. We make the thing. HOWEVER, in return we (may or may not) become a product of our outlier thinking and lose our minds. Tit for tat.
I’d like to believe that blurred line of sanity that we face from moment to moment is nothing more than balance. Similarly, I believe that if you create and are unwilling to cross that line (and/or punch it in the gonads) your work may suffer. Perhaps, it may never even be completed. Not saying that ‘crazy’ is necessary–beneficial in some ways, debilitating in others.
Call it my interpretation, but I never really saw the point in making things up for a living, if it didn’t somehow test boundaries. Mine. Yours. Everybodys. For better or worse the resulting body of work (sculpture, canvas, shaved meercat, etc.) becomes a part of us.
Due to that, if our focus is on innovation, we must innovate our thinking before we can bring it to fruition. This innovative thinking may cause you some trouble in your personal life but I believe that’s also a part of the grand deal that we’re trying to make with the universe. We get to make the thing BUT it may break us. Again, tit for tat. Good things always cost you.
What fascinates me isn’t just the beginning phases, the period of creation, or the silent voices of doubt and doom that follow. I’m actually more interested in where we’re left when the work is done. That’s were a lot of my ideas come from. That dark and stagnant place. We can never judge ourselves by who we are in action. Rather, the best evidence of our mental state is where we linger in the precise moment of completion (#Gigitty).
I’d bet money that you’ve been there too. Despite the glossy perception that many of us get (from undying fans and skeptics alike) our job is hardly rose petals and backrubs. We enjoy it, of course.
However, we enjoy it in the same way that LeBron enjoys basketball, Tiger enjoys golf, and Serena enjoys tennis. It’s this constant grind–frying our brains and pushing our physicality (sometimes in sedentary ways) as far as it will allow us, and then a little further. When it’s all said and done, we’re exhausted. Drained. Many times we’re lost. For most of us, this isn’t exactly an existential crisis, but the feeling is there. That feeling is empty and honest.
Being myself, I thought “…to hell with it,” and let myself simmer in that feeling for a few days. Don’t worry. I didn’t get so deep that I ran naked in the streets or anything. I just put some time aside to observe that blurred line. I wanted to see where my mind would go. I was curious in which ways my brain had stretched and bent to fit the needs of my former WIP. It was a little heartbreaking. But, like I said, creation always costs us.
This would probably be a good time to tell you that you don’t want to be in that mindset for too long. At some point, it becomes redundant and can potentially dump you down the rabbit hole of depression. That’s no bueno. What you want to do is find the sweet spot.
Observe the stretch marks from your creative growth and ensure yourself that more are coming. Ultimately, time will tell whether or not we were out of our minds. For the time being though, I think you could do worse than acknowledging who you are when the work is done. Because that version of you will be creating the next thing.
Food for thought.
Until Next Time,
— Antwan Crump
“Some things need more than hope. Most things need more than religion. All things equate to an ending.” Bedlam: A Collection of Things. Now Available.