Creative Space: Living in my own little world is my job.
Something people need to understand about creators. Many of us live in bubbles. Different kinds of bubbles, not the same bubble at once.
But we live in bubbles. If you try to snap us out of the bubble, the environment that enables us to create our work snaps too. We may stop creating when that creative bubble bursts. Some people’s creative bubbles burst more easily than others.
If we stop creating because you broke our bubble, then people complain we stop creating. Then we complain you broke our bubble. And we don’t make things. So we turn off social media, or we don’t answer emails to protect the head space. We don’t go to parties.
The book must get written. The painting must get done.
People feel left out and locked out, because they are left out and locked out.
But we’re locked in. We’re working.
Would people feel left out and locked out if you didn’t let them hang out at your office where you work at IBM?
Some people are more demanding of your head space than others. We can spend time with someone who is light to carry. But drama-heavy people take up a lot of head space. And if I am writing or deeply involved in some difficult art task, I limit access to these people.
Being dramatic people, they will become very angry about it.
Dramatic people are often attracted to creative people.
Creative people are often dramatic.
I have a right to creative boundaries just as I have a right to personal boundaries. Everyone does.
I don’t apologize for working and living in my bubble. It’s not just my job, it’s my air. Either you get that or you don’t.
You can’t expect creative people to make worlds and then complain that they live in their own little worlds. It’s kinda our job.
Our environment, including the environment of our head space, enables us to create. Creators must protect that space to protect the creation.
If you take away a business’s office building, their work grinds to a halt. The business will scramble to recreate the work environment, replace the computers, the desks.
If you take away the environment construct that is necessary for creators to work, our work grinds to a halt, too.
Creators are often criticized for being selfish when protecting their work in ways that people with other jobs would merit praise for dedication.
Even people we think know better still see creation as a kind of play, not real work, not real intellectual effort.
A creator who loves their work will protect their work, their head space, the ability to produce.
And that is true love.
There are those who don’t know what that feels like. Never will. Some of them are people who create things, too. And it hurts them to see how much you love something that comes from you & not from them, whether that is a personal thing or an art thing.
Sometimes the worst head space invader is another creator whose work isn’t going well. This person will not want you to do well, either. Or they are hoping that whatever pixie dust gives you your mojo will rub off on them.
If it doesn’t, they’ll hobble you to get it. They won’t necessarily realize they’re doing it. But if their art is drowning, their drowning man’s grip will take yours down, too.
And you will do whatever you have to do to break that grip, or your art goes down with them.
And then they’ll complain you are selfish for protecting your creative ability or your creation.
How many of them would love you – want you – half as much if you didn’t?
The picture you see is work I am doing right now. It is a panel from my new graphic novel for Dark Horse. It is from a story by Neil Gaiman. I drew it in pencil. And now I am painting it.
I am going to finish this book.
And the next one. And the next one.
Thanks for understanding.