By definition, artists are more sensitive to the environment. Of course anyone can develop their artistic side, given the right training and opportunity, and once unleashed, this part of human nature opens one up to a kind of pain. Unless managed, too much awareness of the senses can lead to being overwhelmed and incapacitated. For example, if we were fully aware of every sound coming into our ears, including the rushing of our blood through veins, we could not drive cars or prepare a simple meal. Those who venture into psychedelic drugs know how too much awareness of color or taste blocks out rationality and ability to function, but this hyper awareness can happen without chemicals. The training that develops the artistic nature we all have is really removing blocks we have built up from other training that has helped us perform tasks and navigate the everyday world. If you start early enough with children, such training is unnecessary, and the natural artist grows along side more practical learning. Most of us don’t get this advantage, and have to re-open the sensitive artistic temperament through exercises and time spent in artistic pursuits. The pain comes when we realize how disconnected “normal” life is from a fully human existence. When our heart is open to the world it is in danger of being crushed by someone’s harsh words, or inconsiderate actions. We need a balance between enjoying sensory input, and the duties we all need to perform to stay alive. Managing the appropriate times to be open to the world, and when to put on armor to protect ourselves might have to be relearned later in life if art is a new thing for us. A professional artist knows when to shut off the rest of the world so creativity can happen in peace. Some artists take long retreats to get work done, then come back and take care of business, but if you can’t do this, you have to find a way to jump in and out of the artistic temperament as smoothly and quickly as possible, without risking pain. Like dressing properly for weather conditions, then coming home to a warm comfortable place, you can keep your sensitive and tough sides in harmony.