Creative Inspiration: Drawn to Life
When it comes to the link between creativity and mental health, Walt Sanchfield has to have written one of the most inspiring, simple and insightful things about what this was. When I first read it almost 8 years ago it struck me as one of the trust things I had ever read on the subject, and in that moment it gave me the confidence and energy to create. I hope it does the same for you!
Given as a lecture to animation students at Disney, he shared some of the most succinct and useful thoughts on the relationship between creativity and our lives…
“ All of us have experienced periods of diminished energy and depression. It’s possible to have one or both of them creep upon us so slowly that we are unaware of the change, and there we are, dragging our (mental and physical) feet. Over a period of time we may even come to believe that this the way life is supposed to be. You’ve heard people when asked, “ How are you?” They answer “Okay” meaning of course, not bad enough to say “lousy”, and not good enough to say “terrific”.
If I was selling this program of physical and mental betterment for money, I would do it on a money back guarantee basis, because I am confident that a little physical and mental gymnastics are necessary for an artists well being.”
He then goes on to explain his personal program from exercise, to diet, to mental hygiene. I havent included the whole section, but in essence the message is do what works for you, but make sure you are doing.
Ending with an emphatic call to the power of creativity.
“You must create. The injunction of life is to create or perish. Good physical and mental conditioning are necessary to do this. Remember this: The creative energy that created the universe, created you and its creative power is in you now, motivating you, urging you on – always in the direction of creative expression. I have a formula ‘ impression minus expression equals depression” This is especially applicable to artists. We have trained ourselves to be impressed (aware) of all the things around us, and in the natural course of our lives those impressions cry out to be expressed – on paper, on canvas, in music, in poetry, in an animated film.
So shape up!”