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Naivete
December 2, 2001
9:54 am
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artist 2
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So, since the breakup (and the punch) I've been hanging with a boyfriend from three years ago. The thing that brought us together in the first place was that we both have religious backgrounds, and are both very trusting and naive. My question put to you all is can being naive be bad? He and I were discussing this and think that - for creative types like artists and musicians - that trial is good. In others words, living on the streets for a while, or taking a chance giving your heart, or involving yourself deeply in some dangerous social cause. So, I put it to you: Is being naive BAD for creativity? Is hardship and trial GOOD for life experience? What if you live your life just as always, even though nothing comes along to challenge you? What of challege? Should you make things happen to you? Should you seek things that will "wake you up"?

December 2, 2001
12:49 pm
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Molly
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I think our niavete, leads us into situations that sometimes brings us pain,or joy, which can and does trigger than artistic opportunity for expression. Those deep emotions,in some people, stir the words, and colors allowing the passion to be expressed in mediums. Has there been art with out pain? If there was no stimuli, would there be the need for expression?

December 2, 2001
4:01 pm
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deshong
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Artist2,

I too grew up in a religious background. I lived a sheltered life as a PK. THere is a difference between being ignorant, uninformed, foolish,or stupid and inexperienced. For example, there are quite a few things I have chosen never to experience such as drugs, drinking clubbing etc. One might call me naive but I am not unknowledgeable about these things. I do not have to ever do cocaine to understand that it is stupid and can kill me and ruin my life. I don't have to corrupt my mind with pornography to lean about and understand sex. I do not plan on goining a gang and get shot in the leg to learn about violence. Get my point?

There are things in life that a person should NEVER experience or try. In some ways we should be "naive". Especially if it is something harmful, negative or destructive. This is where I draw the line I don't care how "naive" people think I am. Have a standard for yourself, then experience life and take risks based on your standards!! If you are religious and believe in the Bible, then you should know that God has laws and standards set up to protect us from harm and pain which if we really understand it, gives us more freedom.

There are many things I do not have to worry about because of standards I have chosen to follow.

December 2, 2001
9:21 pm
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Cici
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Well, in some ways yes and in some ways no. Suffering leads to beautiful, soulful expressions of inner emotions. But then you get Virgina Wolff, Sylvia Plath, even beat-generation philosophers like Alan Watts - genius, yes, but also substance abusers, emotionally unbalanced, eventually committing suicide. Plath has always been one of my favorite poets, but some of her poetry relates an immense amount of suffering, the kind that balls you up in the fetal position.

As my husband would say, it's the "law of diminishing returns" - the more suffering may be the key to artistic accomplishment, but is it really worth it? I dunno, I always thought suffering made my skin thicker.

December 2, 2001
9:23 pm
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Cici
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deshong,

Do think less of those people who chose to experience those things that you have chosen to avoid? I mean, do you think they are weaker?

December 2, 2001
11:49 pm
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Alena
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I can only add to this with a very mysterious experience of my own. Twenty years ago I was admitted to the hospital 3 times for major depression, each time for 6 weeks or more. Each of those times I was heavily medicated trying to find just the right prescription and dose. Each time I sketched the most beautiful drawings from my mind's eye, they were so professional and in depth, with just an art pad and a pencil and an eraser. I would give the prints to the nurses and at one Catholic hospital, to the nuns.
Portraits of Jesus, just out of my head. I sent a couple to my mom who kept them. You know I've been off meds for a long time now and I can
no longer sketch. I cannot get into my head anymore to find anything, I start something and leave it, it's like when I was suffering and lost and on meds, I was driven to create.
That's what is missing in my life now, the DRIVE to create, which makes me think that desperate suffering drove me to find, or create, something of beauty since I felt my life was so ugly. Just a thought.

December 3, 2001
10:13 am
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Alena, you've really hit something with me here. Years ago I was sent to a hospital for testing. Before they sent me, I was in such a depression. My drawings and creativity were so alive, and I came up with some pretty imaginative stuff. Eventually i stopped taking the meds, not needing them. Now, I still search and search for inspiration, for the drive to make something. It seems the things I do in art are always some kind of technical exercise, never really from my imagination. What is going on with this kind of situation - the one where there is suffering, meds, then nothing? Have you ever been to an Artist's Anonymous meeting?

December 3, 2001
12:47 pm
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Molly
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I didn't know they had those ? I seem to do my best writing when I am , deeply twisted in the blues. Survivor instinct ? Makes you wonder?
Now that they have the MRI's to show how we process stuff, what insight as to our how we tick. In the paper this morning, it showed how we process choices, and how some of us, still make bad ones, over and over again, some sort of scaring in the frontal lobe, hmmmmm lobotomy time?
One of the best examples I had seen was with addicts, they filmed the brain, and the score of the drugs produced a more responsive processing in the brain that the actual ingestion of the drug. Which reinforces my thoughts about behavior in addiction. The waltz of the relationship, more dynamic than the relationship ? The anticipation, until we get it, that what we anticipated is not what we get ? Pavlov's theory?

December 3, 2001
12:52 pm
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artist 2
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I follow you Mol. Like trying to quit a bad relationship. You want to call out of habit, out of the physical need for touch, so you have to re-train that frontal lobe by not letting yourself pick up the phone. By conciously choosing to go get in the car and see a movie rather than let yourself stay at home near the phone. It's all about choices and whether we make them or not.

December 3, 2001
1:42 pm
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This is interesting. Experience is pretty much the surest teacher I've got. I read some--but the lessons that stick come from my experiences. In my youth I experienced a lot of things that I didn't need to experience a second time to know that they weren't for me. Damn, I WANT to be naive--some of you witches out there--PLEASE cast a spell and make me naive.
How do you live a life without challenges??
I think that opening your eyes in the morning and preparing to face another day is one of the biggest challenges there is and everyone does it.
My art has changed through the years--when I was in my 20's my art was dark and in retrospect--damn depressing and as I grew it changed with my changes. First, don't judge your art and how you did what you did or couldn't do what you wanted and don't despair that you are out of touch with your creative side if you aren't always able to call up inspiration when you want it. It takes practice learning to converse with your creative muse on a moment by moment basis. It'll come, trust yourself, it'll come.

I would NEVER advocate that anyone plunge themself into painful situations to make themselves feel something. That's whacky.
I do not hold with the philosophy that you have to suffer to create--bull poopies!!
We all need better mechanisms to get in touch with our spirits--there is so much pain in this world that we can't do anything about--why add more?
Artist:)

December 3, 2001
2:00 pm
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artist 2
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Artist, you're cool. I like your straight forwardness. Thanks for giving me something to think about. Hell, I'll just do something, then call it art later.

December 3, 2001
2:05 pm
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It occurs to me.... anyone out there agree or not?

That: as we get older, we already know ourselves. During our teens and early twenties we had the excitement of not knowing for sure - but only having a hunch. NOW that we're older, it's OLD HAT - so to speak. We seem to look for something else, something that' s undiscovered somehow. We're looking for that tresure hunt of our childhood. What do you guys think?

December 3, 2001
3:04 pm
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Molly
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That is a good one, I guess for me it depends on which day it is. Some days I think I know me, and seek new and different, other days, I recognize different limitations, and honor those, I am developing patience, that I never had before, or is that ambivilance, har har har.

December 3, 2001
3:58 pm
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Alena
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No, I didn't know they had such a thing as Artists Anonymous either. I'm sure they don't have it in my area. Whatever though, I keep thinking it will come back someday when I can find the time to just sit and create, as I did in the hospital in those days.

And no, artist, I have no desire to recreate the depression and pain in order to sketch again. I try like hell to keep those days behind me.
But it is interesting how our minds work,so very, very little is known about how our psyche', it's all an experiment, and we're all so different.

December 3, 2001
7:39 pm
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deshong
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Just wanted to answer Cici,

No I do not think that others are weaker who have chosen a different life or experiences than myself. One of the reason's I am on this webcite is because I myself have weaknesses regardless of my "noble" decisions. My decisions were not all so noble but some were simply a lack of opportunity!

I am by no means perfect. We are "all" weak in some areas. My weaknesses may or may not be yours. I must admitt, if it were not for God in my life, I would be more of a basket case than I already am at times;)

December 3, 2001
8:10 pm
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Cici
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Cool, thanks for being frank. I was just trying to get a firmer grasp of what you were saying. Thanks!

December 3, 2001
8:28 pm
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Molly
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Ladeska, got Artist's address, send her the poem. Maybe she can do that picture I want.

December 4, 2001
2:55 pm
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Ladeska
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Awesome!!! You go, girlfriend!

December 4, 2001
4:05 pm
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Molly
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I should have put a question mark there instead of a comma, I mean do you have artist's address ? Please send her the poem. I found a few cards I made as proto types, that need art work, as well.

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