Just about every person has it. That certain thing that you do in order to bring yourself to that desired state. For some it is a simple gesture, for others, it can be an outright crazy act. Artists are not abstained from this practice rather they are the ones seemingly most prone to using them. Is a side effect of their active minds a proclivity to rituals, maybe. While you go over that thought here are some of the strange rituals of well-known artists.
Nobel prize-winning 20th-century author William Faulker would on occasion type with his toes. He also had the habit of wearing his shoes on his hands because it was only fitting, of course.
Novelist Mary Shelley was a proud owner of a 20-foot long snake which she would have lay upon her neck when writing. Once the snake began to grow restless and start to squeeze she would allow herself to stop writing for the day.
Franz Kafka, a fanatic of pineapple upside down cake would treat himself to the desert anytime he finished a story.
The prolific author Stephen King was not shy to speak of his dislike of adverbs. He once stated, “With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.” To rid himself of the practice of using adverbs King wrote two thousand adverb free words every day.
Honoré de Balzac
French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac, known for his long bouts of writing would drink upwards of 50 cups of coffee per day to ensure that he could stay focused during his often more than 10 hours of writing at his desk.
Director David Lynch for an almost decade period went to the same diner every day consuming large amounts of coffee while he wrote ideas on napkins during his sugar rush induced inspirations.
With all the distractions that can separate an artist from his work, it is easy to see why American novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen works with a blindfold on to keep his concentration.
Maya Angelou rented a hotel room in every city she lived in. She would go to the room at 6 am in the morning with the same items a Roget’s Thesaurus, dictionary, a Bible, yellow notepad, and pen . She requested that the rooms be emptied of any decorations believing it would suspend all beliefs.
Inspirational writer and author of the best-selling book “The War of Art”, Steven Pressfield recites what he calls his prayer “Invocation of the Muse” from Homer's Odyssey before he begins to write.
Now that you’ve seen the strange rituals of some of the world’s most well-known artists, are there any rituals that you do that others would find truly strange?
Written By: Evan Edmond