I have been muddling over this question for quite sometime and now believe outside input would be beneficial. My question is whether or not mind altering substances could be said to affect the validity of artwork if the artist is under the influence of mind altering substances. By “validity”, I mean whether or not one could say that that piece of artwork belongs solely to that artist. If an artist would not have created the same artwork if they had not been on drugs, then can we say that that piece of art owes itself more to the drug than to the artist?
Possible refutations I thought of:
So many external stimuli affect the thought processes such as mood, food, atmosphere, past experience, or fatigue that claiming that drugs hold a higher priority over these other “natural” stimuli would be unfounded and naive.
It is still the artist that moves the brush, that creates. The drug possesses no creative abilities native to itself.
This question might lead straight into the intriguing but frustratingly decisive alley of causation, but anyone with significant understanding of that philosophy is more than welcome to add input. Despite a possible dead end, I hope this question provokes thoughtful discussion and that you all may enlighten me and each other.
That’s what a creator does. Creates. He doesn’t get creativity, he does creativity. Ya know? Gives something life. If you can’t be creative even if you’re not an artist you’ll have a very bad time with yourself. The only creative ability you’ll need is creating something that works well. You’ll probably think you need something else than doing and bettering an object of a desired effect. Whatever mind-altering means, if you’re negative and turn positive you’re self-stimulating without any other support system than your own consciousness. A person creates emotions all the time. From writing and talking about their concerns and magnifying them, to overcoming them with an expression from a (usually helpful, even if short, unless self-destructive) perspective. Putting that in an abstract form is art. I did use to call everyone who doesn’t realize their own emotions stupid, but it’s a very common practice to just not dream about anything. That’s really fucking dumb, actually. Slaughtering your own creativity? It’s a crime against nature, but I guess drugs help some people with that.
Interesting question, but I believe all great artists have been producing great pieces of art whilst on mind altering substances, whether those were painters, musicians or other types.
As you pointed out yourself, so many external factors influence the thought processes and creativity.
No, mind altering substances do not affect the validity of our artwork
Browsing the discussions here, I stumbled over this in amazement. I was wondering about this too!
[a bit of context: I’m a musician – I study composition, but I also ‘practice’ photography, poetry and other creative manifestations. Also, I never did drugs.]
So I was wondering, does taking drugs (as an artist) mean you’re kinda cheating?
Probably not, as the result still come from *your* own brain… and maybe that’s just a shortcut to channeling your creativity…
But still the question comes back to me… I’m a bit conflicted
Also, I need to say this: I find it a bit offensive that, when seeing a work of art that’s a bit more ‘other-worldy’ or trippy or intense, to IMMEDIATELY assume that the artist was on drugs.
I mean, one can be pretty darn creative and visionary even ‘on his own’, in one’s natural state…
[p.s. – I had the ‘did you take drugs?’ reaction to some of the stuff I created, or my sharing of certain perceptions and states of mind… I – especially lately – experience things in a very vivid and – dare I say – ‘psychedelic’ manner (of course it couldn’t compare, especially since I have zero experience with such things), but I guess that’s a discussion for a different time/place, sorry for going off topic :D I’m just curious if there are people out there who feel like that, without taking drugs]
uhh… alright, though I feel a bit ashamed now, I guess they’re not *THAT* trippy, I really wouldn’t know :)) (I can’t remember now exactly the ones where my friend said jokingly ‘pls stop doing drugs’) sooo here are a few links with some of my ‘photographic’ stuff (p.s. I know some of them are really crappy, it was a long time ago :)), it needs some renewal, as I couldn’t find time for my bloggie in the last… 2 years or so) – http://couleur-canto.blogspot.ro/2013/02/feb-11.html , http://couleur-canto.blogspot.ro/search?updated-max=2010-08-15T06:11:00-07:00&max-results=7&start=37&by-date=false , http://couleur-canto.blogspot.ro/2012/09/sept-10-vii.html ,
Thanks ;)) I didn’t stop taking & playing around with photographs… that’s the problem, I have a TON of them :)) and the blog has still a ton to catch up with… so it all piled up. But I started a facebook page (it’s not exactly ‘active’ yet, though), as I find it to be a more lively platform :)
Definitely. You’re a composer so you understand. Being in that dream world to create an atmosphere is a must for a creator. Hans Zimmer said he doesn’t have a very good grasp with reality because of living in a movie most of the time, but it’s required to be that focused and it’s really not a bad thing. :)