Picasso claimed that every child is an artist and that the difficulty is in remaining an artist as you grow older. I suppose that is true. With the exception of a few scientists and engineers, the majority of my friends are artists, musicians, writers or are involved in some other creative discipline. There is definitely a shift in production as you get further from your teenage years and you have to adapt, take a break, or give up.
A couple of years ago I used to get these really strange headaches that would intensify over the course of a few hours until I was practically immobilized by them. Sometimes I would get physically ill and end up throwing up in the bathroom until I passed out. My girlfriend would usually come home a few hours later and wake me up. She would ask me if I was alright and, surprisingly, I always was. I had some of my best ideas slipping in and out of consciousness on that bathroom floor. That is probably the closest I’ve ever come to being inspired in a truly mysterious and unexplainable way. The rest of the time I just elaborated on a true story, embellished a reoccurring concept or collaborated with my imagination and caffeine.
I think a lot of people hope for that epic creative vision but it’s just not a reliable way to create art. I suppose you could chemically induce a creative vision with hard drugs but you’d also waste a large portion of your day eating with your mouth open, confusing something with something else and thinking you had an original idea when you actually just remembered something that already existed.
“Whoa man, if it’s called Futon why can’t you eat it?”
“Do you mean Tofu?”
“What? Ha ha ha! What?! Tofu’s not an egg noodle. Wait, wait! Shut up! I just had the best idea… Canned Eggs!”
While some people can thrive in an altered state, it is not necessary for producing creative works. I know we all need breaks and it becomes easier to think we’ve gone as far as we can go, rather than going a little bit further. I do not care who you are, there is still a lot to see, be influenced by and report on. You can stay inspired through actions and adapt, instead of giving up or committing to a more drastic methodology.
Creative people, now is the time to get back into it.