By Nick Stanley
Kanye West’s album cover
Kanye West’s latest album cover has a pretty good headline on it. ‘I hate being Bi-Polar. It’s amazing’. Almost a bit Swiss Life.
I can empathise, sort of. By no means am I claiming to be bi-polar myself, nor am I doubting the verity of his diagnosis.
But I’m sure everyone at SCA has had a glimpse of what Kanye is talking about. And it does seem to be common amongst almost all creative types. The extreme troughs and peaks that can last a few days or, conversely, the amount of time it takes to write a sentence (or endline).
From despair comes elation.
When in the throws of one of the lows you begin to wonder why you do this. No idea is ever plain sailing from conception to completion. Nor is any idea ever truly complete. And that unending journey will always take you down at one point.
‘I hate it’.
But then comes the up. You’ve cracked the idea, or you realise the doubt you had was unfounded and you fall in love with this game again. You look at your partner and say something like ‘how weird is our job? It’s mad. I love it’.
The problem, as with most problems in the modern world, resides in the brain. I’m not so much talking about getting perspective during the lows as the actual physiological necessity of the emotions experienced in those moments.
I honestly believe the pit that opens in your stomach is the most effective signal your body can produce to get the subconscious into gear, working on the problem at hand.
Problem unsolved + worry + anxiety – enough time = subconscious whirring.
It’s not fool-proof but it give a couple of hours, go and do something else and then ask your subconscious, as if it were another person, what it’s got for you. Be demanding. After all, you’ve had to suffer to get it going in the first place. It owes you.
Unfortunately, being creative is not yet a medically recognised condition like bi-polar. It doesn’t have a Latin name that you can use to excuse your bad moods.
‘Sorry about that earlier, it was my Creativitus Moodswingum. Can’t help it’. But it is certainly a real thing and a facet of the world we’ve all chosen to enter.
I hate that we go through this every time
it gets better and better.