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Welcome, welcome to Artists Anonymous… my name is “Artist” (it’s anonymous after all) and I am an art addict.

It's never to early or too late to talk about art!
It’s never to early or too late to talk about art!

This weekend was especially hard for me. I found myself up at 5am on a Sunday researching different local festivals and exhibits… I started my search around 1:15am. I often find myself breaking into song while I am out at the market or to lunch with my friends. I can’t help it… sometimes I just need to twirl. My parents don’t understand me. My constant state of daydreaming is keeping me from family functions and dinners. I often find myself sitting in my room, alone, in the dark, imagining my next project… my next painting, film, book, dream for hours and hours at a time. Some days I just stay in my pajamas. last night I fell asleep with my pen and notebook in my hand. I wake up to find my page still blank and proceed to force myself to stay still until something appears on my page. even if it takes all day! I find it hard to do anything without music playing in the background. My iPod battery ran out on the subway and I had a panic attack. I waste my evenings on #YouTube watching video mash-ups of #cats and #EdSullivan re-runs. I have a problem and I need help.

According to, the noun “addiction” is described as , “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.” (September 2014)
Sylvia White, the founder and director of Contemporary Artists’ Services, explains that artists living with art and non-artists living with an artist can experience great difficulty and frustration during their day-to-day lives, as they are wired differently than “the rest of us”:

“Most artists I know go through classic symptoms of withdrawal when
deprived of their work environment for too long. They get grouchy, irritable,
may suffer from physical complaints such as headaches, body aches and
often times find themselves depressed for no reason.
These symptoms miraculously disappear when they are given the
opportunity to work again.” (White, Sylvia. “If You Are Addicted.”
Contemporary artists Services. June 26, 2006. Web. September 9,

She continues on by saying that by asking an artist to discontinue their craft is the equivalent to “asking you or I not to talk, not to eat, not to breathe. ….Making art is not an option for them, it is a necessity.” (White, Web. September 9, 2014) But then, isn’t that true for all professions? Or, professions driven by passion!? Take away a doctor’s stethoscope, will he not sigh? Or, take away a soccer stars jersey, will he not reluctantly rest on the bleachers? Just a child, if you take away his most beloved toy!

Any artist can surely say that they have experienced these withdraw symptoms on occasion, often enough, as art is a drug we must constantly seek out and chase as artists. Our “dealer” doesn’t always have a fix for us. No matter how much we crave it, 5 days a week, 9-5 isn’t how we may experience it. It’s often in clumps and overwhelming or very sparingly. It is a real trip!

Agreeable is that to a real true passionate artist, art is an addiction, but the same goes for anyone and their passion, be it art, or sport, or even travel. They just have a very unique experience with theirs. Often enough, their pain and longing for their drug drives them and becomes apart of the addiction, part of the films, fashion, paintings, etc..

For the cinematic genius #CharlieChaplin, his films reeked of pain, sorrow and agony, but were masked by the irony and comedy of these real-life inspired situations and stories. Many a clown has often taken his pain and applied it to his passion. So, one could even argue that the pain, depression and longing in itself is an addiction.

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