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Monday, June 8, 2015

The Driven Artist - Compulsive Creativity


To send, expel, or otherwise cause to move by force or compulsion:

Tonight is a low night. There is no real reason. It wasn't a stressful day. There was no major crisis to deal with. I got rest.

There is no excuse except to say we all get tired. We feel our creativity ebb. We realize we can't do it all even if we wish we could.

But I come away from these low nights feeling guilty, as if I did not meet my potential for the day.

The driven artist strives to achieve something every moment of the day. I know for me that if I am not creating art, I am considering art, doing art maintenance, or at the very least thinking about that next project. I drive myself needlessly at times until I am so exhausted that I can't see straight.

Even on a low night I've still achieved a mad amount. I can't seem to help myself. This is probably not a healthy thing to never take any time off. I think I dwell on it more when my energy is off. When its not and I'm in the groove I don't have time to think about such things. I just go and go as long as I can manage.

Drive doesn't necessarily mean success. I think we get the two confused. Or perhaps its our own warped perspective of what success entails. In today's world, you are not an artist unless you are a successful artist. I know some would disagree with this. But I can't tell you how many times people have said to me "Gee you must sell a lot of stuff!" When I reply "no, not really" they shake their heads as if to say "why the hell are you doing it then?". Why bother if your not gaining anything from it. But I am gaining something from it. It motivates me, drives me, forces me to get up each day. Makes me happy.

And that's the crux of the matter. We are not supposed to be happy doing work. Work is supposed to be grueling and mind numbing. But how do we define a life well lived? Is it by how much money we made? Or is it by how much we achieved and gave back to the world?

We are driven for all the wrong reasons.

I admit that I sometimes think I may burn myself out early. I suppose on low nights such as this, that is the basic fear that arises like a wolf at the door. Yet it doesn't stop me. I doubt it stops anyone that's driven to the extent of ignoring their health and rarely taking any of the relaxation that most crave.

Perhaps it is best to not dwell on such things. Such are the habits of a compulsive creator. We ignore everything else in our pursuit of the ultimate creation.

I think society has to have this kind of personality. There must be people in the world that push to the utter extremes regardless of the cost.

Then again I may just be a nut. Who can say for sure?



  1. So, I'm not the only one with such problems? Good.
    It drives me mad when people make everything in their (or my) live about money. Sure, it' neccesary to earn some, but it's not THE MOST important thing in life, right?
    When I create, I do it for some entirely different purpose. To give something to the world, get rid of my emotions and show what I feel or think. Makes me feel a little more important I guess.
    And, like you, I'm driven. Untill I don't have strenght anymore. Not enough sleep and rest etc. But if it makes me (and you) more satisfied, it's not a bad way to spend time in life? I guess.

  2. Thank you! I get asked all the time how much money my art has made me. Yes I have to pay the bills. But that's not why I do this! It's really about loving what you do!