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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I've always wanted to put down on paper the thought processes that an artist normally goes through. What is often misunderstood to be an exercise in wasting time, i.e. daydreaming, by "non artists" is in fact work in progress. Personally, I often retreat to bookstores, galleries, and parks all by myself because first of all I need to be able to think clearly, hear myself think, and carefully deliberate on those thoughts. Second, because those three aforementioned places abound with stimuli that gets the noggin inspired enough to start churning out ideas that I sorely need for the art that I need to produce in a given timeframe. The same goes with the need to acquire toys, action figures, comics, books, gadgets, and cartoons (depending on his or her art, each artist will seek to surround themselves with instruments or willingly submit themselves through an experience related to their gifting).

Dean's blog entry, appetite, vindicates that line of thinking as he describes what kind of creatures we are, feeding on the mundane and the abstract with this post written last Sunday:

Writers are creatures of appetite, needing to imbibe things in order to spew them out as words, transformed by imagination and covered in the spit of personal experience.

We drink and smoke and eat, sometimes to excess, often not enough times, to fill the vacuum within. It is not limited to oral gratification. Our eyes consume visual feasts of cinema, television, photography, drama and dance, following the varied paths of words the books we read reveal, escaping into the brilliant world of comic books and other lurid black-and-white dimensions. Our ears devour conversations, the sound of tears and triumph, quiet etudes and rock music played at dizzying volumes. Our fingers explore nooks and crannies when we make love or ****, trace history when we touch someone's face, and translate texts from texture.

We have are denizens of many worlds. We exist in the mundane and simultaneously experience life and love and madness in other times and places, some safe and predictable, some secret and hidden because of shame and the refusal to submit to judgement, or because of the innate selfishness of keeping a wellspring of inspiration to one's self.

We are gluttons of experience, vicarious or otherwise, and we constantly hunger. Not necessarily for the new, not always for the familiar, but rather for everything, slaves of the constant need to assuage our appetites.

We live secret lives in our words, creating fiction from the raw materials we cannot help but seek and savor.
Exquisite description, If I may say so myself! Although he wrote from the perspective of a writer, I could also safely claim this too since the souls of comic creators exist on the same as writers. On the other hand, I'd be lying too much if I were to boast that we are exempted from any kind of excesses and temptations to overindulge on the things (both gorgeous and grotesque) that feed our cravings. In fact we should be more on the lookout when we begin to cross set boundaries. If not we would turn to ourselves and as fits of madness begin to consume our souls we begin to entertain thoughts about our heightened abilities to influence others. Thereby creating monstrous monuments that glorify not ourselves but the monsters that lurk in the recesses of our psyche. We should then always take stock of ourselves and recognize the fact that we are after all fragile vessels. And our best works, in the end, are but pale imitations of the works of the Creator himself.

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