Friday, August 31, 2007

On Inspiration - the Mysterious All Consuming

It is funny how the urge to write appears as quickly as it disappears. One would think inspiration is always the same thing, the same feeling but just like happiness and anger it comes with many subtle nuances. The physical sensation, maybe even the excitement that inspiration causes in me tends to become close to permanent when I work through a series of projects in the print shop. It becomes such an addiction that the high seems to never end or even ease up. Until, production is being forced to a full stop at the end of each semester and I am released into the "real world" outside of the studio space. At that point with a sense of immortality and superiority, each time being so engulfed in a false sense of security that I actually believe I could continue on like this forever no matter where I was or what situations life puts on my plate.
Of course this high starts to wear off after a couple of days, sometimes not until two weeks have passed. Each semester, each year I have become more and more aware of the intensity and the unsettling downwards spiral once the safe-haven is left behind. Each year I believe I can be strong enough to work through it on my own until the next semester. Thinking each "off-seasonal struggle" will prepare me and bring me closer to a manageable rhythm needed once I leave school for good. Each year I get to a point where I have to admit to myself that I have failed yet again to settle on a healthy work rhythm. During the semester, especially in the last third of it, I work at what feels to be 500 km/h: the more I produce the faster I work, the more projects I start therefore the more I produce, the more projects I finish... this continues into a faster spinning cycle. It's an upward spiral that goes to a point which I have never had the chance to reach. What could this point be other than an anticlimax? Each little cell in this spiral is an inspirational climax in itself. If it could only go on continuously in a balanced manner, but the spinning spiral wants to come to a point. I literally accelerate my work habit to the point where it becomes unhealthy. Is it better to be abruptly interrupted before such an epicenter can be reached? Where else could it go? It is an inward spiral not an outreaching one. Will the ultimate climax of inspiration implode the artistic self until there is nothing left of it? Will it cancel out itself? Instead the school rhythm has insured that the artistic self goes into rehab in the "real world" at the end of each semester which causes the high to drastically wear off and slows me down to 10-15 km/h.
The "real world" means to art students everything outside and away from school. They have to leave their secure nest where inspiration was fed to them in such high doses that they have forgotten how life was before they hatched out of their teenage egg. Back then those high school years had formed a hard shell of reality and taught many tactics of survival in a not so comforting and definitely not understanding world. I knew how hard it was to get that wonderful sensation, that idea and urge to create but still Could not function without it either. It was like a tiny flame that had to be protected and carefully nurtured. In art school that flame was given so much oxygen that it literally consumed it's protector and raised the "student" to a whole new level. But here comes reality.
Art school is only supposed to show you how intense and big and all consuming the IDEAL fire can be. What they don't prepare you for is that being this consumed by the inspirational high will make you and the flame vulnerable to a pretty harsh "outside world". be continued...

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