Gettin' Real With God: An Exclusive Interview
By Becky Tuch
Though God’s role in the creation of The Universe has been doubted by many, God is still highly regarded as one of the most important creative artists of our time. Famously reclusive, God has created under numerous noms de plume—Allah, Yahweh, Transcendental Signifier being just a few. In this exclusive interview, God finally opens up about creativity, publicity, and what it means to be an artist in today’s complex times.
So. God. First of all, thanks so much for meeting with me for this blog interview. I feel exceptionally lucky. Since you’re famous for your elusive nature, my first question is naturally what made you finally agree to be interviewed. Was it the irresistible charm of blogging?
You know, for so long I refused interviews and any kind of publicity at all. I always thought—My job as God is simply to create. Light? Done. Humans? Done. It seemed preposterous that after all that work, I then had to go around promoting the work, explaining it, as if it couldn’t just speak for itself.
But with the changing face of the artist industry, our current financial crisis and so forth, we artists really have no choice but to sell ourselves. The days of the Creator Tour are really a thing of the past. Publishing houses just don’t have those kinds of resources anymore. There’s a lot that Creators have to do for themselves to get their own name out. So here I am. Blogging, tweeting, friending. All of that.
Plus I have business cards. Do you want one? Here, take it.
I’m still getting used to this whole marketing thing. It feels so awkward to advertise yourself. But I suppose that’s just how things are done nowadays. If you want people to appreciate your Universe, you’ve really got to sell it.
Totally. So, God, let’s talk about your creative process. Sources have reported that it took you only seven days to create The Entire World. What’s the secret to your productivity?
Deadlines. And coffee.
Can you say more about that? The deadlines thing, in particular.
Well, I’m the sort of Divine Transcendental Figure that really likes to procrastinate. You tell me I have to create plants, animals, human consciousness and swampland, and suddenly cleaning the kitchen is the most fascinating thing. It’s like, wow, I never knew I could do dishes for twelve hours.
This was basically my issue for a long time. And it was really depressing. At the end of the day, you want to do more with your life than just clean the kitchen, even if you are immortal.
I finally got to a point where I was so fed up and I just said to myself, “God, do you want to create The Universe or don’t you?” To which the answer was “Heaven, yes!” So I gave myself seven days. I wasn’t sleeping at all, which is why at the end of the first day I created Starbucks.
Did you feel that that time crunch was actually good for your work?
I definitely feel like it got the work done, and out into the world, so to speak. That was really my first priority.
Looking back, if I had given myself more time, I could have actually perfected a lot of things. Like, maybe there wouldn’t be war. Or everyone would have clean drinking water. I really regret the whole natural disaster thing. And of course, if I had more time, I would not have created mosquitoes. Those things drive me crazy.
But, you know, you live and learn. It was my first project. I really just wanted to get something out there that was finished. Later, of course, when I got an editor, we refined some things. We took out the dinosaurs. We made oil.
Actually, I kept telling my agent, “No, don’t make oil! This will be bad!” But at the time, it was something she thought would make The Universe more saleable, so we went with it.
Do you regret listening to your agent about that?
I really try not to have regrets. There’s a sharp learning curve with each project. Next time, I’ll know better. I’ll know that you can’t chase the market. The best creative projects, in my opinion, are ones where the artist stakes out new territory, really revolutionizes what has come before. But your first time around, you’re so hung up on getting “recognized” that it’s scary to do something so different.
Now that I’m a little more established and I’ve got a few more Ultimate Realities under my belt, I think I’ll be able to take more risks with the next project.
What is your greatest weakness as a creator?
Oh, that’s a tough question. Especially if you throw the All-knowing and All-powerful thing into the mix.
Nevertheless, I’d have to say my greatest weakness is that I just can’t bear to see people suffer. And yet I know that the best stories are the ones in which characters really have to prove what they’re made of through times of great pain. On an intellectual level I know that characters need to be in great physical and psychological danger for them to grow and learn and evolve. You definitely see that level of danger in some of my work. But in other places, I just can’t bring myself to make people suffer. I want everyone to live in nice homes and have good health care and be happy….And yet I know that good art is about people coping with real unhappiness. So, that struggle, you could say, is my weakness as a creator—knowing people need to suffer, but wanting very much for it not to be so.
What is your greatest strength?
Oh, that’s easy. Dialogue! There are about 6,500 languages in The World and I made all of them. That’s something I’m really proud of.
Who are your creative influences?
I’m influenced by just about everyone and everything. Poets, musicians, painters, even stock brokers believe it or not, all have something to teach me as an artist. But the thing that truly inspires me the most is you.
Well, you, your colleagues, your teachers, your students. Seeing other people create. Seeing people want to do the thing that I have done. Seeing the way people get rewarded on a daily basis through art and love and making new things.
Wow, you’re awfully sentimental. I wouldn’t expect that from someone who created venomous snakes and quicksand.
What can I say? I’m full of surprises.
Finally—and thanks so much for this interview—do you have any advice for the aspiring artist? Whether it’s about promotion of your work, or the act of creating? Any tips?
Oh, the interview’s over already? Well, thanks again. This was fun. Before I go, I just want to do a quick plug of my latest project, “Summertime and Lightning Bugs”, which is now available on the east coast of North America. It’s much lighter than my last project, “Corporate Oil Spill.”
Anyhoo, yeah, advice for the would-be-artist: Learn to live with disappointment.
Becky Tuch is the founding editor of The Review Review.