I'm not the Immortal Artist. You are

Immortal Artist is dedicated to exploring all aspects of experimental art and creating new and innovative techniques which other artists can use to strengthen their own work.

The blogs creator, experimental artist Grey Cross pursues and discusses art across a wide spectrum of artistic mediums. They include painting, sculpting, body art, digital art, and photography. With an emphasis on teaching artists to utilize today's social networks to further their own art and reputations.

This blog uses the Living Blog concept, an idea created by Grey Cross

Grey Cross Studios/Immortal Artist Operations

New Orleans

Email: greyacross@aol.com

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Edison Factor - Artists and Sleep


To take the rest afforded by a suspension of voluntary bodily functions and the natural suspension, complete or partial, of consciousness; cease being awake.

Enter this darkness of sleep shrouded mystery and find your soul hidden in the shadows

I've written before that my partner and I have been experimenting with sleep. Being blessed with the ability to keep our own schedules and being primarily nocturnal in our work habits, we've spent the past year or so trying to find a pattern of sleeping and waking that works best for us.

I would not say I suffer from insomnia. Believe me when I am ready to sleep I sleep! But I suffer from something that many creatives suffer from. I call it "Brain Zapping". From the moment I wake, even if its to stagger bleary eyed to the bathroom, by the time I return to bed, my mind has woken up. Its so sudden that I rarely have time to tell my brain to go back to sleep. Suddenly I am flooded with ideas, concepts and thoughts. Sometimes it starts prior to even waking, filling my dream state and waking me up with that intense need to record the idea before I can rest again.

Some of my best ideas come from this dream state and I've learned not to ignore it. But it makes it very hard to get a full 8 hours of rest.

Thomas Edison was infamous for his lack of sleep and his forcing his employees to do the same. I've been to Edison's lab in New Jersey. Amazingly preserved exactly how he left it, I was amazed to see that this huge building was littered with cots. They were stuffed in corners, under stairwells and in midst of the mans labs right there with the contraptions he was working on. Edison literally would work until he nearly dropped and then take a short cat nap and be back at it again. He drove his counterparts crazy because he expected them to keep up with him and quite literally they would drop from exhaustion trying to do so.

Now I am not comparing myself to Edison's mind, so please don't get the wrong idea. But I think I am beginning to enter what I term the Edison Factor. Over the past several years I am more and more finding myself able to function little sleep. If I force myself to bed too soon I just lay there with "Brain Zap". More and more often I find myself just going back into the studio and continuing to work. I am at the point now where I sleep for a period that may be 15 minutes and I am awake again and ready to go and feeling refreshed. A more normal period of sleep seems to last about 2-3 hours at the most.

Here is an example. In the past 24 hours I slept from 9-11pm. Again from 3-6am and once more from 9-10am. It is now (at the time of this writing) 11pm in the evening and I have been awake since waking at 10am. When I tire I will sleep again for a short period.

The tiring points are unpredictable. I may go 18 hours straight, or I may only be able to go a few hours. But when it occurs its drastic. I am suddenly so tired that I can barely stagger to the bed.

I am not advocating this for other creatives. I have no doubt its probably not all together healthy for me to do this, but since I stopped trying to force sleep and just let it happen when it will, its taken a weight off my mind. I stopped struggling to stay within the bounds of what is practical. Now when it happens, it happens.

I've always been a productive artist. I am a multi-tasker that can juggle ten things at once. For example while writing this blog entry, I am also working on a sculpture. I write a sentence or two between drying times for various parts of it. While I am doing so I am also taking photographs and writing a tutorial on how I am creating the piece and sharing it step by step with fellow artists online. I am also reading articles that come through my email every few minutes on happenings around the world and in the world of art.

I am not bragging, I am simply saying that this sleep pattern coupled with my already bizarre multi-tasking habits have turned me into an artists with a blindingly ridiculous amount of output.

So is it truly healthy or not? I doubt it. The medical evidence backs up the theory that humans need a minimum of 8 hours a day of sleep to be at their peak. I may be shortening my life with this pattern if I do so over an extended period of time. I accept that risk.

There are some that do not seem to need a lot of sleep though. It may just be who we are. I cannot say with any authority. I am going to inquire though as I have a doctors appointment next week and I want my MD's honest opinion of this. I suspect he will not have nice things to say and will be concerned that it might effect the HIV and my immune system in a way that is not healthy. But we shall see. I can't say its effecting my judgement or my ability to think creatively (at least I don't think it is). But it is making me a better artist and I am content with that.

To be continued.........


We Are Not Nameless Faces - Art From a Gay World

We are not nameless faces
We have lives, issues, fears and passions
We make mistakes
We challenge ourselves to be better people
We are heroes, demons and everything in between
We are you

ARCHETYPE: A collectively inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., universally present in individual psyches


Since every portfolio service out there wants to block this series of photos I've been forced to move it over here to the blog. Please note, this is NOT pornography. This is a serious and often troubling set of photographs that I hope the viewer can see past the nudity to the message behind them)

LGBT Culture and Gay sub-culture are not a disease or a moral decay of civilization. We are a valid part of society as a whole.  Like any culture within society, we have our own rules and our own social mores and we attempt to live in harmony with the world around us and the conventions of other cultures. But let no one say we are not deserving of being considered part of the whole or that our culture holds less meaning than another.If this seems defensive, it is only my desire to have society stop thinking of us as an aberration and begin to think of us as a vibrant part of the world that contributes as much as all others do.

Here we face our heroes and demons and try to come to terms with understanding the differences between archetypes and stereotypes and that the roles we assume to know in society may be subtly or uniquely different within gay sub-culture.

There are many more archetypes than what I have explored here, but it is my fond desire that a few of these will make both gay and straight think for a moment about the roles we all play in the world and that just because we were brought up one way, does not mean that others around us were brought up the same. To each of us who are part of gay sub-culture and LGBT culture as a whole, know only too well that we are constantly seeking to understand ourselves better, and yes sometimes running from that which we do not understand. 

One last thought. Some have asked me why I felt it was necessary to create this exhibition with nude models. The answer is simple. It is our overarching comfort with our human bodies that makes this culture different from society as a whole. Our embrace of our sexuality is perhaps the single largest reason why society becomes uncomfortable with us and such a stigma is placed on "the gay". But it is who we are, and who we will always be and therefore essential that it is addressed within this body of work. To the models who gave so freely of themselves, their emotions and their nudity, I will be forever grateful.


There are many hundreds of photos in this series. I will be re-posting them one theme at a time over the coming weeks. Each photo is available in print form either individually or as a complete theme. Please contact the artist for more information at:




It all began with Adam and Eve, claim some. Here both have become archetypes to much of society. But what began as a chant of the religious right that there was no Steve in the Garden of Eden, has for us become an archetype in itself. What if Steve was in the Garden with Adam and Eve? What if Steve had to choose? We all have choices to make even when we are born gay, we still make a lot of choices and they start with this very basic archetype of Adam, Eve and Steve


Every culture has its addicts, for some its a drug, for others its an activity. In gay culture, addiction is a major problem and combinations of addictions, especially to sex are hard to cope with. Finding balance in our lives is not always easily done.


With the issues of gay marriage so prevalent these days, we examine and re-examine what commitment is. Some would claim it is merely about procreation, but we know that is not the only thing it is about. It is about strength and respect and honor and love between partners of any gender, creed or religion. The joy we take in our partners can sometimes be overwhelming. To deny that it is any less important than any other committed relationship just because its between two of the same gender, is nothing but ignorance.


Society can sometimes place value on intelligence, but it can also bully us about it. For many young gay men, we are already bullied about our femininity or our lack of conforming to social norms. We sometimes hide ourselves away books and learning just to escape it, or worse yet, we never seek to educate ourselves because we feel it will give the bullies one more thing to attack us over. When we come out of the closet we think of things in terms of the physical and sometimes forget the mind. Finding balance of both is essential.


Seeking the highest level of spirituality is not a religious journey, but a journey of the heart and soul. Seeking that higher level hand in hand with a partner can only evolve us into greater spiritual beings on level of existence far away from this physical space we inhabit called earth

More Coming! Check back soon!