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My Mind is at War and I am Addicted to Creativity.

Posted on October 18 2015


Picture taken in the studio October 26, 2014 by Colleen Stepanian Photography


It's a Tuesday evening, 6:00pm. I get back to the STUDiO after a day of emails, phone calls, meetings and the like. I am drained. I look around and think about launching a film while I put my feet up with a drink, whiskey preferably. One ice cube. I make a move to the couch, but voices in my head start my mind racing. I tip forward on an emotional roller coaster - and suddenly I'm screaming down hill on broken rails, about to trip off the track. I have to calm this storm. I have to quiet the demon voices. I have to find a way to release this energy.

I close my eyes and release a deep breath. I open them wide and look the devil in the eye. I reach for my weapon - a thick handled paint brush and a bucket of black acrylic paint. I'm ready. The battle begins. 

I fight the demons, soaking acrylic blood onto the canvas layer by layer. The battle field is covered. The lines, bold and striking, leave no more space to fight. No more room to bleed. I wake up out of a trance of surreal visuals and draw a deep breath. I feel  euphoric, higher than any drug can get me. I won this battle, but not the war...

It's Tuesday evening, 10:30pm. Just as I settle from my euphoric peak, I hear whispers in the air. I think to silence them, but instead I smile. I am renewed. I know what's coming - a new high better than the last one. Each battle leaves me more whole, more complete. I raise my head and stare the devil in the eyes. This is a new battle, new terrain. I find a new weapon. A can of spray paint, a roll of paper, a pile of cardboard. I rush in to the fray, and pour boiling emotions on to the enemy in graphic release. The storm calms, and I am at ease. I am again euphoric. I am again high.


I'm addicted.


It's Wednesday, 12:56am. Thoughts of sleep match my heavy eyes. But not for long. I am distracted by thoughts of the weapons I have yet to forge - the genres of art I have yet to explore. The thought makes me angry... it makes me disappointed in myself. Why have I not ventured this way yet? Am I not fighting hard enough? This is the siren song of the voices in my head - the constant reminder that there are more battles to wage, and my war is far from over.

Whispers in the night. I look over the quiet battlefield of a fight yet unfought, and a feeling comes over me. Nothing can stop me. I am invincible. Bring it on. Let the dance begin with the demons in my mind. I begin again. I design embellishments and jewels that adorn the body. I paint and produce textiles another artist can fashion in to a garment of their design. A collaboration. Uniforms for moments in time. Once more, the demons are down. There is a silence in the air. I am high again. I am the accomplished gladiator, I am the victor.


I am obsessed.


It's Wednesday 2:30am. Eyes blood-shot from not blinking, dry from the absent tears. Mind dizzy from the lack of sleep. I lay my head down on the clouds of victories hard won. I expect the whispers - but I get conversations. Twenty at a time. New designs, new experiments, new ways to create experiences. Paths I have not yet forged, roads I have not yet traveled. Faint visions of collaborations unexplored. Opportunities that can change lives, sensory experiences that can change perception. I throw the covers off and turn on the lights. There is work yet to be done, and the devil shall not win. Ideas come madly. Page after page of the sketch book covered. No white space is left untouched.


It's Wednesday 4:45am.


It's Wednesday 8:30am. My eyes open and I gasp for air. I am not in my bed. I must have laid down on the couch. I'm in the middle of my studio, paper all over with scribbles of new ideas. A new painting is in the corner. And then visions of the rest of the world - ice melted in a glass resting on the table, missed phone calls and text messages, people wondering where I am, where I have been. Why do I seem so distant, why am I so closed off? I look around. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I hear a whisper.


Eyes open and there is the devil looking back at me. Time to go to war.


A war in which I am one warrior among many. All across Philadelphia, soldiers of art stand with me, shoulder to shoulder in battle. Each wields their own weapon, each fights their own battle. This is the company I keep, our camaraderie the crutch upon which the embattled souls of each artist leans, but still standing, bound together through an intense energy that makes our blood boil for creativity. There is no other way.

We work together to move forward. We work together to create a world that has not yet existed. The army of soldiers of creativity grows at a breathtaking pace. Philadelphia is home, but the world will be conquered. You know we are here, and the marching of the infantry is unstoppable. There is no slowing down, no one left standing in our way. Here there is no competition - only collaboration. We are a unified force. We will continue to pave our own path and blaze past those that don't believe, because it is all we know how to do.

It's any day of any week at any possible time. I take a deep breath, stare the devil in the eye, and grab my weapon.


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