The Creative Life

Greta Chapin McGill - January 2, 2013

"The commitment to create is the only great love in the creative life..."

To live the creative life requires commitment.  The same commitment it takes dealing with any life relationship such as marriage, education or career.  A life path with a right brain focus is not an easy road to travel, it carries the same intense assignment of responsibility as any vocation.  Creative obsession is as serious a life choice as any other,  but it is a life choice without the option or tolerance to be put aside after eight hours.  Creative obsession lives within.  It never rests nor takes a break.

To live a life committed to creativity is not understood by most and therein lies the challenge for the individual born to this existence.  A writer must write today, tomorrow and always.  A visual artist must create art constantly.  The creatively obsessed spend time thinking, pondering and internally visualizing what lives within.  The challenge comes reconciling one central issue within the creative brain. The need to be successful.  

Success is not an alien concept.  It is a supposition all humanity is wired to wish for in life.  Not just in the environment of this society, but worldwide.  Longing for a successful life is not a bad thing and levels of success are measured differently.  For example, a vocalist may consider success the ability to finally conquer a difficult aria, the instrumentalist who completes an intense improvisation.  In idea, concept and execution these levels of success are a departure from someone who considers success dinner with the boss, a hefty end-of-year bonus or a six figure annual salary.  It is the space between these two considerations of success a creative existence has difficulty navigating.

The worth of the creative existence is often called into question by those who rely heavily on the left side of the brain. If one needs to retain a lawyer, go to a doctor, or get one’s car repaired the price of these needs is set by the person who made the choice to study, practice and provide the service.  Making the decision to create a painting or compose a symphony and placing a monetary value on that creation is not looked at or accepted in the same way.   The worth of a painter or a painting is sometimes times tied directly to wether or not the artist is still alive.  It may also relate to gender, race, or sexual orientation.  The thinking person would not consider a successful secretary one who was no longer living nor would they dismiss buying shoes from a sales clerk merely because of their gender.

Artists must do the things all people do live,breathe and procreate. The  artist loves above all things the art. The commitment to create is the only great love in the creative life,  not an individual or material possession. Love requiring one to give at all times, totally and without thought.  A demanding love of incredible highs and devistativing lows, but one the artist cannot survive without.