There is a myth about the tortured artists. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Artists throws themselves into alcohol or drugs or sex, and in such a frenzied state, the work produced is sheer brilliance.
I say this is pure BS.
And I have empirical evidence to back me up. A study of famous artists (like Monet, Picasso, Pollock) has shown that at low points in their life, the work produced sells for less than in happier points of their life. Conclusion: an artist needs to be fully invested in their work. A death or tragedy sidetracks the mind and breaks the fictive dream.
Artists have another power and that is to instill everyday moments with significance. You don’t need wheelbarrows of pain or to starve yourself to create art. Listen, life is not La Boheme. Even Seasons of Love expounded the value of five-hundred twenty-five-thousand six-hundred sunsets.
Art comes from your distinct viewpoint on life. You can’t cultivate this viewpoint with a drugged out mind. You can only find it by being honest. Yes, your own past pain comes to play, but it’s more a psychological journey than it is a torture-fest.
We all have an inner voice. It’s the artist’s job to let the voice out. To quote Stephen King (from the Dark Half), “Let it live, let it breath. Hell, [the artist] can let it party — give it the car keys, let it ride!”
So put down that bottle. Give up the hedonistic lifestyle. Those are just excuses to avoid delving into the real you. It’s your viewpoint that matters. And you can only discover it with a clear head.
Want to check out that study of artists? It’s a good read. Click here.