I've really enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's novel, Big Magic. Not only does she speak in an extremely authentic and straight forward voice, but the wisdom she imparts is phenomenal. She writes of the Tormented Artist and how destructive it is to live that way, rather than accepting creativity as play. My experience has been that creativity saves me from destructive behaviour, it brings me so much joy and keeps me balanced.
She also discusses the courage required to be creative. Not only in the act of creating something, but in the realization that our creations may be rejected and asks if we're prepared to accept that as part of the process.
Another point brought up in the book is the idea that ideas visit several people at the same time...I'm definitely a believer in that adage. There have been times in my life when I've been visited by a muse only to let it go, when in a year or two I've seen that same idea created by someone else. And it always interests me to see how someone else completes the same vision.
One of my favorite lines is, 'I can even make it into an act of prayer.' I've always felt that the process of painting or drawing was like a meditation, a direct connection to God. It is the only time I feel purely present...not worrying about the future or the past, not wondering if I've said or done the right things. It's a good feeling.
AIRdirondack Art Project