The Highs and Lows of Artists / by Jeannine Cook

I have a suspicion that every artist, writer and other creative person knows that there is an inevitable pattern to life. By pattern, I mean that there is an excitement, almost euphoria, when there is an event to prepare, such as an art exhibition. Then, after everything is over, there is a let-down, a flatness and almost, sometimes, a short depression, before life reverts to a more even keel.

This has certainly been the case for me over the years, especially with my Art-Tasting events. Lots of work to prepare, hang, exhibit the art, and ensure that the wine-tasting and party are organised... a week of steady preparations before the date. Then the day of the Art-Tasting comes. This year, the weather was perfect, the marshes were magnificently golden and wide-flung and the garden still unaffected by freezing temperatures. Lots of people came, at a steady tempo, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, the main objective of the party.

The hours fly past, the table empties of food, artwork disappears out of the house under people's arms... and then it is all over.

Clearing up is made easier by wonderful help, and in the subsequent days, I put the house back together, and take the art down from display. Slowly, slowly, the world returns to its more peaceful rhythm, and I recognise that I feel flat and devoid of creativity. Luckily, this is only a brief period, I now know, and suddenly, I will get excited again about something I see or think of. Then I become a practising artist once more, and life will flow into other channels. The period of highs and lows passes once more.

I wonder if this happens with writers who launch a book, composers who hear their music played for the first time, ballet dancers in a new performance – a hundred versions of launching one's creativity into the public arena.


Putting one's creative soul out into the wide world is exciting, challenging – but then there is the counterpoint, the emptiness, the let down. I suspect that everyone learns with time about the yin and yang of creative life, just part of the whole process of being an artist.