1. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    The Artist vs The Drug

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GoldenFeather, Dec 18, 2015.

    Some believe without the drug, the artist would not create (or be able to create) his art. That the drug is the artist.

    Others believe the artist is the instrument, and the drug (or other substance) simply lubes up this instrument so it works better. Therefore the artist is responsible for his art, and not his drug of choice.

    What do you think?
     
  2. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I'm an occasional smoker, only taking a hit when someone has it. But my friend had quit recently, so I haven't smoked in a while. When I write, I just go with the basic stimulant: coffee. Sometimes I just won't do coffee and just jump in, cannonball style.

    So I'll go with what Salvador Dali said--I don't do drugs, I am drugs! Because whenever I start writing, I just get into it. My imagination is warped and crazy already that doing drugs might break it or undermine it.
     
  3. BrianIff
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    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

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    http://www.writingforums.org/threads/alcohol-friend-or-foe.142495/

    Some of what you're looking for might be here.

    Otherwise, you can't give substances to just anyone and expect a noteworthy result. From there, discussion gets into whether substances are performance enhancers and whether that's legitimate in the arts, or if there's an element of self-medication to open the artist's mind.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    More than anything, I've found that alcohol and drugs give artists the illusion that they've created something good.
     
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  5. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I think there is no merit to the idea that substances improve your art. I think its probably an excuse some one thought up. If anything I would say maybe it makes you "brave", you know the whole liquid courage thing.
     
  6. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    This isn't true. Many successful artists have wonderful work, and they've used substances during their creation.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes, there are always exceptions, but one can't expect to constantly be drunk or high and produce good work. Even those who used drugs were sober during some parts of the creation process. My earlier post was talking more about aspiring writers, however.
     
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  8. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Microsoft Word is a dramatic leap over paper and pen, a piece of software that enables very rapid revision and sidesteps basic qualifiers such as penmanship, yet we continue to give authors credit for the documents they crank out on their keyboards. Drugs are simply pharmaceutical counterparts to such tools, and probably far more limited ones. Many impair certain areas of cognition, particularly when used to excess, and none turn normal men into Einstein. Even stimulants require a core of basic ability to carry their velocity anywhere useful.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  9. pyroglyphian
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    pyroglyphian Member

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    One of the most profound yet overlooked aspect of 'drugs' is their effect on a person's sense of self. On the one hand insight and artistic growth are certainly possible given an apt temperament, however on the other hand I sometimes wear a glove. White cotton usually, Egyptian.
     
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  10. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    I was referring more to natural 'drugs' (which I don't consider drugs): mushrooms, marijuana, peyote etc. I don't see any value at all in pharmaceutical drugs (for leisure purposes anyway). They are poison.
     
  11. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Cocaine is natural. Belladonna is natural. Alcohol, nicotine, morphine, and GHB are natural. Amphetamine isn't, but ephedrine and cathinone are, and its chemical skeleton phenethylamine appears in the human body, where it produces stimulant effects of a short-lived but very similar nature.

    A natural drug or preparation can be safer (coca leaves are less dangerous than powder), but it ultimately comes down to dosage and pharmacology. Atropa belladonna is natural, and LSD is synthetic, yet the former is easily the more dangerous of the two.
     
  12. GoldenFeather
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    GoldenFeather Active Member

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    They come from natural sources, yes (coca plant, poppy plant etc). But they are processed, therefore they are no longer natural but chemically manipulated. The coca plant and the poppy plant (if taken via a tea, for example) would be natural. Cocaine is the chemically processed version, therefore it is no longer in it's natural state.

    As for LSD... I would say that's an exception. It has amazing effects, and it's synthetic? That's pretty cool, never tried it myself though (and probably never will -- if it doesn't grow from the Earth, then I feel it doesn't belong anywhere near us).
     
  13. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Drugs are escapism, so is art, writing, music etc. It is only natural for an artist to fall into any one of these, as they look for answers in what is a deep underlying problem of the psyche, whether it is mental health or just simply unhappy with the current social conditions.
     
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