Touching the Fire and Fueling our Inner-Diva

How often do artists actually analyze the fuel for their creativity?  We artists all have our muses, our inspiration, our motivations that push us to create art.  But how often do we really have the opportunity to truly sit with our emotions and see what underlying feelings fuel the drive that pushes us to create?

Passion.  Chaos.  Fear.  Intensity.  Vulnerability.  Strength.  Love.  Loss.  Rejection.

These are all intense emotions that boil up within us.  They manifest themselves in ways we can only imagine for each individual.  Such intensity drives some people to insanity, others to acts of intense violence.  It forces some people to retreat from the world, afraid of ever feeling those emotions ever again, afraid of the sheer vulnerability that these emotions can produce.  And others create.

I realized several years ago that I love chaos.  Not in the “Desperate Housewives/Bridezilla” sort of personal drama bullshit chaos, but in the “holy shit, that just happened” sort of chaos that happens when you place all the predictable and familiar aspects of your life aside and toss yourself into the unknown.  For the past 5 years, those unknowns have been found in travel- in visiting an unknown place and culture and surviving.  And thriving.

Late night a Shakori Hills music festival in 2006.

Late night a Shakori Hills music festival in 2006.

But in that time, I’ve put those personal emotions that accompany relationships on hold.  I’ve placed them in a box and saved them for later.  I’ve ventured into the dating world once or twice, been burned and retreated.  At that time, several years ago, I didn’t truly understand my creativity nor did I understand or recognize the by-product of these emotions. Its easier to wallow in them, to roll around like a pig in some shitty emotional mud, than it is to take those emotions and channel them into something amazing.

An Inner-Diva to Control My Inner Child

And here I am, a single, fabulous woman, approaching 35 and I think I finally figured out the balance of being an artist.  That’s a bold statement- and I will probably eat those words when I decide love and risk losing again- assuming that happens.  No, I haven’t fallen in love and been dejected recently.  I still wear my single-girl jeans that make my ass look hot and, when coupled with my Miracle Bra, make me feel like Samantha on Sex in the City. But I have dabbled in the realm of personal emotion recently- with all its excitement, thrill, adrenaline, pain and turmoil.  And its distraction.  And while the situation is still slightly unresolved and may still have a happy ending or not- and really its irrelevant for this article- its the emotions and their residual effects that are fascinating.

I’ve stayed put here in the South East for a couple months and am starting to land some commercial multimedia projects that are promising and have the potential to fund more travel in the fall.  And it has me thinking of pursuing more of this type of work as its interesting, profitable and I’m very good at it.  Yet, in doing so, I feel the creativity that I cherish so much going slowly dormant.  Not in a bad way- my multimedia projects tap into that creativity- even when they are for commercial outlets- and I love producing them.  But the raw, unhindered, unaltered creativity that is all mine takes a step back when I become a multimedia producer.  It just happens. But with the last couple weeks and the whirlwind I threw myself into, and the subsequent emotions it generated, I feel that my brain- almost instantly- has righted itself and found the equilibrium between the chaos of intense emotions and the creative channels that emotion manifests itself into.

This morning, I received a little closure to a personal situation (in a good way) and after swallowing the inner-child who wanted things to go her way, this inner diva emerged and said, “well, why this personal situation isn’t resolved- but makes more sense in this moment- let’s take all the emotional intensity it created and place it into your creativity and your multimedia and lets just be fabulous.”

Seriously, I now have an inner-Diva to control my inner-child and I feel at ease for the first time in several weeks. This inner-Diva is going to be the master of these emotions- and she’s going to place them in the proper places at the right moments, so that I don’t turn my back on the paths in life that I see myself walking down.

So, I guess this article is part emotional release and part call to action.  We artists possess this ability to live life at levels of intensity not normally experienced by most people.  We can’t really expect others to understand this, or know how to deal with a person who lives this way. Really, everyone possess this ability, but few are strong enough or prepared enough to handle the by-product of embracing such intensity.  Most of us, and sometimes even the artists, choose the easier path because not being able to channel the ill effects of these emotions is not a good place to be.  That doesn’t end well.

But those of us with the fortune (or misfortune- depending on your perspective) to understand these emotions- or at least where they came from and why, and then channel them into the beauty we create are blessed.  And cursed.  Because the fuel we need, the muse we crave sits at the edge of a fire. Its the intensity of those flames that gives us the fuel.  We know this, and we walk to the edge of that fire anyway.  We have to, we need it.  And sometimes, we get burned.  And sometimes, we create a beauty that is unparalleled.  And sometimes, we find the balance to pursue the path we are meant to travel down.

A shoe tree in Quartzsite, AZ. 2003

A shoe tree in Quartzsite, AZ. 2003