I sometimes wonder whether I would be more or less creative were it not for the depression I have battled for most of my life. On the surface of it, depression is the kryptonite of creativity. When I am severely depressed, I find it difficult to do anything at all.
When I am in a good mood, I am prolific; the ideas emerge with such force that I don’t know where to begin.
And yet, were it not for the darkness I keep at bay every single day, I might not be as aware as I am of light and shadow. I might feel less compelled to create, because I know how wonderfully rare those moments are, and how I must grab them and run before they vanish.
And, sometimes, depression itself can be a catalyst for creation. This is what three paintings of depression, all completed this afternoon, look like:
This one is titled “In Hell”, for fairly obvious reasons:
This is “African Sisyphus”, because when you think about it, life is about going backwards and uphill, pushing a giant ball of dung which you hope will one day birth something new.
And this is “Surrender”, my Dido moment because I feel defeated.