You know those dramatic stories of artists who smoke and drink and binge an stay up all night and ruin their lives on the way to creating? Yeah… don’t emulate those.
On the whole, I think healthy people make healthy art. I think the art you make is an outpouring of who you are. And while part of your life’s process surely includes darkness and brokenness, you have to be somewhat healthy in order to create work that faithfully and wisely deals with darkness and brokenness.
An artist ultimately gives herself away through her art. That means your health is a gift you offer to those you love and those who love you.
I used to be romanced by the image of the starving artist or the struggling creative; the tortured soul whose art saves his life in a whirlwind of booze and smoke and late night arguments in the rain with those who don’t understand him.
Here is what I know now:
Being in good health is part of being a good artist. Not only because healthy people make healthy art (even art that deals with unhealthy things), but they also make more of it.
We only have ten years of Van Gogh’s work. I wish we had more.
We only have three studio albums of Kurt Cobain’s work. I wish we had more.
Give us everything you can of yourself. Being healthy lets you do that.
(This is a short thought from the book I’m currently writing. Yet untitled, it will be a followup to Title Pending. Add yourself to my email list to learn more)