Creating art is a lot like cooking. Heck, whipping together tasty morsels is an art unto itself (just watch any show on the Cooking Channel). What initially gave me the connection between what goes on in the kitchen and what happens in an artist’s mind came from reading a book. Specifically Daily Rituals by Mason Currey.
The first entry concerned the working habits of W. H. Auden. Apparently the man used drugs to help him wake up in the morning (amphetamines) and then fall asleep at night (Benzedrine). He called this his “chemical life.” Hey, this was back in 1940s when doctors prescribed tobacco use for sore throats.
Auden said that use of these drugs helped to organize his “mental kitchen”. I certainly don’t prescribe recreational drug use to the artistic individual (it actually inhibits your creativity). I just liked the idea of a mental kitchen inside your head, complete with draws and tools and pots and a stove.