Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alcohol and Creativity

Alcohol use doesn't make you careful or accurate, that's true, but it might help with insight and perspective, at least to some degree, and such insight is helpful for artistic/creative endeavors.  To be careful, though, such insight is helpful at a point of origination, while imagining a project or design, or trying to get through a mental block concerning "what fits" for a next step.  Imagine that you've been working on a project, like a painting, and because of the nature of the work, you didn't plan it out entirely or to specific detail.  There's room for a bit of allusion, innuendo, shading, or novelty, although it works well within the framework or theme you've already set out.  So, you've got a problem, because in front of you is a piece of work that is good, really good, you think, even after you've gone away from it and come back, and you see new aspects in the work that you didn't even intend, but now your intention is to somehow take those aspects and stretch them out a little bit, and build on them.  And, at times, a drink, or a smoke, or what have you -- excluding, I think, harder drugs that wouldn't allow your the physical capacity to create anything worthy --could help.  It loosens you up to try something, and that is valuable.  It could alternatively be destructive, especially if what you've tried just doesn't fit into the previously demonstrated strokes or patterns, and you don't want to put something "totally different" on top of what you've already got.

Then again, what I might really be saying is that alcohol lets you, allows you that is, to look, to peer into your own creation, and then to think about it before you take a step forward.... that is, that it allows you to stop for a minute and reflect.  That moment is part of an ongoing dynamic process that should already exist, but my initial thought for this post was that booze can aid in the process when your own ability to see becomes clouded for various reasons, even lack of patience.  That's it though--it can help you, lubricate the gears so to speak, and then you should probably abstain further and make actual effort for yourself to get perspective, although I'm well aware that a lot of decent art has been done under the influence of mind-altering substances.  More on this topic soon.

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