Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Art and the transformation:

Had a thought that was close to an epiphany today. Might have just been a brain fart, but tell me what you think. It concerns art and the freedom it produces in the mind and how that, in the end, effects the person. By art, as you'll note, I don't just mean squiggly lines with paint and pencil, but also music, theater and dance, etc.

The theme revolves around the outsider's question of "why are artists so weird?" that often comes to mind when we see a green mohawk, off-beat clothes, funky lifestyles, etc. I would put it to this. It comes from the freedom loosed in the subconscious and an artist's want to return there. When you are "in the zone" artistically, you are creating that which does not exist. You are molding reality to fit your format, not the other way around. Your line determines the reality, your interpretation shows the true intention and your poetry or lyrics create the emotional center of thought. In the real world, the thoughts of the masses and harsh realities of life define this and people hide in their small (or large) boxes and create personas that won't attract undue attention or get them "in trouble" in the real world.

However, the artist has tasted this opiate created in his or her own mind. Like an addiction it rewires neural synapses and creates a preferred method of interpreting input and creating output. The euphoria of creation, especially a magnum opus but even a prideful doodle, is like a hit off that pipe or candy from the needle and, after a while, you don't know how to function without it. The day-to-day desk job gets grey and colorless and you long to express yourself, taste that internal drug and show it to the world. You want it to color everyday choices, you want it to flow from you because that connects you with it and lets you know its there. Its comfort when the box closes in and the "fake" persona you wear feels like a straight-jacket. You disregard social norms to wear it on your sleeve so to speak, or incorporate it into your life. So, how does this make an artist "weird?"

You may see it in the green mohawk, the unique indie/vintage clothes, obscure political stances, tics and habits that seem outside of anything remotely necessary for survival, or even in a peaceful, passive mode that inspires people to talk or listen. Isn't that weird? Isn't that STRANGE to go outside the norm, walk uphill, swim upstream, play with Calvin-ball like rules inside a very black & white world? Yes. Yes it is. But when you look at it from this angle, when you see from inside the creation junkie out onto the world, you can understand it. You can appreciate it. You may even take the ultimate real world stance and pass currency off on them for a capitalistic "hell yeah" shout of agreement. And then long to be that weird guy. And wish you could touch that vein of creativity. Remember when you took a dose way back when. Remember when the world turned cold when you turned your back on the creative and chose the stoic, grey, necessary reality of life. When you became normal, and they became weird.Do you understand it now? Or do you feel weird for giving it up?

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