Imagination is a vital tool in the artist’s arsenal. But today, my friend Megan from Studio MME is visiting, to talk about how a very active imagination is not always a good thing…
As an artist, the one thing I hear over and over again from people is, “I wish I had yourimagination!” Generally, I smile and tell them anyone can be imaginative, you just have to be silly. But there’s another side to that imagination, a side that is unknown to people who haven’t fully embraced their creativity.
I know, I know. You’re wondering how an imagination can be bad. I mean, nearly every child is imaginative and can play with cardboard boxes for hours on end. And, heck, artists need imagination so they can look outside their studio window and see a magical world. But when the sun goes down, that imagination turns on its owner.
I’ll be honest with you; I have a VERY over-active imagination. When I was little, I had routines I HAD to follow to keep the monsters and zombies from eating me. I slept in the middle of my bed with all of my limbs covered. If any part of my body stuck out from under the sheets, there was nothing to protect it from being nibbled. I couldn’t sleep on my left side because I’d leave my back exposed to monsters coming through the bedroom door (which had to remain open so my parents could hear my screams) and I couldn’t sleep on my right side since thatwould leave the window and closet unwatched.
I thought my imagination would lessen as I grew up, as it did for so many of my friends. But if anything, it’s gotten worse. This year I turned 24 and I still have to sleep with my limbs under the covers. If I had my choice, I’d also be sleeping in the middle of the bed but my boyfriend protests that I then take up more than my ‘half’. I make my boyfriend close the closet doors at night so monsters don’t come out of them and I keep my eyes closed when I go to the bathroom at night for fear of seeing a ghost behind me in the mirror. Heck, I’m even afraid of a zombie attack 7 years after watching, “Shaun of the Dead.”
Yes, I’m happy for my imagination. Because of it, I’m never bored. I can always come up with crazy ideas. On a hike in the woods, tree stumps become old women from fairy tales and thieving raccoons are be-spelled princes.
But sometimes I wish I could turn off my imagination so that, just once, I could sleep with my arm hanging over the side of the bed with the sheets thrown off.
Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who’s as crazy as I am (he’s a photography grad student) and who doesn’t mind putting up with my no-hiding-in-the-closets-and-jumping-out rule.
I’m curious to hear if you have any issues with your imagination.
Does yours behave at night? Or do you also have to have rules to minimize terrifying yourself?
Or, are you one of those lucky artists (the ones we always hear rumors about) who can live as ‘normal people’?