The basis of artistic creation is not what is, but what might be; not the real, but the possible. Artists create according to the same principles as nature, but they apply them to individual entities, while nature, to use a Goethean expression, thinks nothing of individual things. She is always building and destroying, because she wants to achieve perfection, not in the individual thing, but in the whole.
What is essential to understand at this point is that until now there was no such thing as mind and matter, subject and object, form and substance. Those divisions are just dialectical inventions that came later...They are just ghosts, immortal gods of the modern mythos which appear to us to be real because we are within that mythos. But in reality they are just as much an artistic creation as the anthropomorphic gods they replaced.
What an artist does, is fail. Any reading of the literature... (I mean the literature of artistic creation), however summary, will persuade you instantly that the paradigmatic artistic experience is that of failure. The actualization fails to meet, equal, the intuition. There is something "out there" which cannot be brought "here". This is standard. I don't mean bad artists, I mean good artists. There is no such thing as a "successful artist" (except, of course, in worldly terms).
To a great extent the achievements of invention, of mechanical and of artistic creation, must of necessity, and rightly, be individual rather than governmental. It is the self-reliant pioneer in every enterprise who beats the path along which American civilization has marched. Such individual effort is the glory of America.
The secret of artistic creation and the effectiveness of art is to be found in a return to the state of 'participation mystique' - to that level of experience at which it is man who lives, and not the individual...
I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.
A work of art is only of interest, in my opinion, when it is an immediate and direct projection of what is happening in the depth of a person's being.. ..It is my belief that only in this Art Brut can we find the natural and normal processes of artistic creation in their pure and elementary state.
Every separate sector of artistic creation has its own basic rules . . . data which govern it. They are contained in the textbooks on these subjects. A professional knows the rules of the game as a matter of course so that he can achieve, in the upper strata above that, a high quality of art.
Any true musician, true artist, knows that when they're in that point of total artistic creation, whether on stage or in the studio or writing or whatever, that's the closest moment [to creation]. And that's what keeps all these people addicted to getting back to that moment again.