When Megan and I aren't exchanging stories about spiders after lunch (worst possible time ever for that, by the way), we try to keep it culture-centric. A couple of weeks ago, we were swapping stories about artistic urges... that is to say, the way you feel when you need to do something artistic--whether it's painting, drawing, writing, etc. With her, it's writing poetry, but our experiences are surprisingly similar. There's a distracting sort of little gnawing away at the back of your mind and very abruptly, you start feeling edgy--almost uncomfortable. Your muscles tense up, your heartbeat quickens, there's a rush of adrenaline--"it's almost... sexual," she hesitated to say, but I'm inclined to agree. It's a very primitive emotion for something that is, in essence, very human.
Usually, when I get the urge to paint or draw, I don't have immediate access to the materials that I need, so I end up frustrated and irritated, or sometimes, just downright surly. Very suddenly today, I felt the need to paint. It's almost like your body just grew without warning and your skin's not keeping up--you feel confined and the only thing to break out of that shell is to create. Unfortunately, it takes me about 5 minutes to set up to paint, and in that time so much can go wrong--mostly, you run the risk of losing the clear picture you've created in your mind. I did end up painting--I'm not very happy with what I painted, but at least I did it. There is relief in that.
I've noticed that when I feel compelled to write however, it's much easier. It's probably simply because I always keep a small notepad and pen with me, or I'm close to a computer, so there's a much shorter time between that sensation and the actual act of writing. But something I've noticed with the writing compulsion is that my brow literally jumps up when I get a thought I want to write down. It's just for a moment, but I must look startled and bemused--like I've just heard an elderly woman swear.
May your artistic urges be many, always be requited, and your facial expressions priceless.