LanguageArts: Neurology or neurosis? Discuss.

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I just finished an interview for the local paper, the Trumansburg Free Press.  It amazes me what I discover when I am actually forced to analyze my artwork, my inspirations, goals, vision, etc.  Why do I do what I do?  “Dunno” is not usually the answer an interviewer is looking for.  The whole thing — my artwork as well as my thinking about my artwork — is a really personal thing. I wouldn’t do it if it didn’t make me feel good.  But if I just wanted to feel good, I wouldn’t have to kill my hands with a Dremel for hours at a time; I wouldn’t have to ruin my eyesight reading and writing so small I now have to use a magnifying glass if I forget where I left off.  I wouldn’t have to wear a mask to protect me from breathing glass dust or wear eye protection.  So what is it?  What is it about the combination of text and image that lights that little bulb over my head?

What artists inspire me and why? he asks.  I have such a small smattering of formal art training that I don’t know one art movement from another.  Whoever has combined lines into drawings at the same time as words — that’s who inspires me.  I love Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks much more than his paintings. Sketchbooks, doodle pads, field notes, anatomical drawings, biological illustration… those are my inspirations.

Why?  Words alone, okay. Interesting, but nothing really stays with me.  Images, pretty pictures, fine.

Something about the combination of the two at the same time is exciting. Simultaneously hitting the visual and cognitive parts of my brain must provide a little jumpstart or something.  I wonder if the ADD/ADHD brain is wired more randomly or something… I know that my brain is a lot more hyperactive than my body.   Part of the difficulty when you have ADD is that so many things are going on in your brain at the same time it’s difficult to focus.  I guess the idea behind Ritalin and things like that is maybe to keep the activity up in the rest of your brain and keep it from distracting you; keep those random thoughts and impulses from demanding to be constantly addressed.

So am I doing what I do because it’s a way of focusing and training my brain without the use of stimulants?  Or am just obsessive about being able to write on a grain of rice? Neurology or neurosis?  Thoughts?

 

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