Joy has been a cornerstone of festive season imagery, with bright colours, happy faces and celebration taking centre stage. But to the artist, joy may hog the stage, forcing one's talents into the backdrop.
The Problem with Joy
The creative mind can transform
emotion into image or words, no less than it can forge raw materials into
invention. And where necessity is deemed mother of invention, hardship is all
too often the mother of art.
Hardship, however, is
individualistic in nature, with perspective defining adversity far more
accurately than circumstance. Thus, though many artists may share the same
adversity, each will interpret and value it differently, resulting in a wide
assortment of product expressions. In other words, though the fuel may be the
same, the fire is much different.
Dousing this flame is quick work
for many, as the spiritual imbalance of passion need only find resolve - resolve
that is traditionally expressed in the form of joy. All too often the release of
sexual tension or a lifting of depression will kill the artist's wand. This is
not to say that joy is an artistic condemnation, only that when joyous, many
simply find that they have nothing more that they are interested in sharing. For
them, misery loves company, but joy is a party pooper.
Vincent van Gogh reportedly
suffered from bipolar disorder, producing artworks during both the depression
and the manic phase. The resulting difference in his choice and treatment of
subjects can offer insight into how one artistic state of mind may slam the door
As teens, our emotions run hot and
cold as well, with the ink flowing
from the bubbling Fountain of Youth through to the dregs of the river Styx. It
would be difficult to connect the writings from a single teen in each state, as
the imagery is in such stark contrast as to appear from two entirely different