To be an artist, any kind of successful artist, you must live, eat and breath the creativity around you. But to be truly successful is so much more then that. My work as a fashion designer/artist is only comparable that of a long term relationship. At first, you have puppy love with your subject matter. This regards the first stages of a project, when your excited about the idea, you see the end result, your visualize your finished product and can not wait to make it happen.
Stage two is problem solving. In this stage your beginning the hard work it takes to really make an idea come alive. This stage will test wether you really want to finish what you set out to do. Some days you will wake up and hate the sight of your project, the fact that its unfinished looming in your mind. Unlike a 9-5 job there is no escape from your work because most of your work lives in your mind up until completion, and the fact that its not done tugs at you from the inside out. If working on a particularly hard project you will run into issues, problem solving that needs to be done. Thinking of how to make it work takes up your spare time, turning your brain into a 24/7 work studio.
The stress can be unbearable if you don’t know what your doing, because there is nothing from stopping it from waking you in the middle of the night with a solution, or sometimes the question you should have been asking all along. I have seen many people, one look at their face and I can see that they are fighting the battle against time while attempting to create their own masterpiece. But deadlines rule in the world of creativity, and most of us have a short window to make our work count.
Then, there is the times where everything clicks. You feel like a magician as you conjure up ideas from your head, into reality as if it was nothing. These are the days I live for, because I feel like some crazy fashion super hero, who can make the world into whatever I see it to be inside my mind. As if the world and I are doing a dance in tandem, flawlessly feeling the others next move, and allowing the transformation of the project a runway to take off on.
There is no doubt that this process is rewarding, but you have to love it. There is no faking the love because it will be tested. You will be pushed to the edge of your sanity, just to see if you can handle being the best. And even after you have completed said work of art you are left with the question: is it your best work. 99% of the time the answer is no, and replacing the creative process in your mind is a hunger to create again, this time better, this time bigger. This time you will undoubtedly be the best.
I personally love what I do, although I sometimes feel like the mad hatter slipping slowly into insanity. My work courses through my veins as I breath in the inspiration, and exhale the possibility of failure. The human brain can be a very lonely place if you let it, so music, books on tape, or anything else you can play in the background of your workspace helps to distract it from the reality or working for 10 hours in the same tiny room.
If your brave enough, bold enough to finish what you have set out to do, you might one day be in a playing field center stage to the world. And you have managed to be the 1% who is showing their vision, exactly the way it was seen in your mind, the feeling is unparalleled. It is the most honest form of expression that can be mustered. No amount of words can replace a true vision of the mind that has been physically created so that others can share in the impact of your thoughts. And you know inside that this seemly small output of information could impact many to change how they think about the world.
Why do we do it though? If a process can drive you mad, why would you even walk that tightrope? Because without color, the world would be grey, and without imagination, there would be nothing left to live for in the turning tides of responsibility. Without the artist, dreams would fail to be real, and the illusion of anything with be diminished to nothing. We do it because we have to, for the true artist is born crazy in their own right, practicing art is our form of admitting we are indeed off-our-rocker, and showing the world how beautiful a place crazy is. Today, crazy is the place of wild dreams where anything is possible if your sane enough to handle it.