“…even in the beginning of my sobriety I was amazed at the flow of creativity and ideas.”
My name is Sunny Buick and I’m a tattoo artist, painter, and illustrator. I’m originally from San Francisco, CA but now I live in Paris, France.
I never really was formally trained as an artist, I took a few courses in college but I’m mostly self-taught. I’ve been drawing since I was a small child. I never stopped! I got sober in 1998 when I was 28 years old. I had done a lot of speed and psychedelics young but was mainly an alcoholic pot smoker. I really thought that my creative juices were increased after smoking pot and taking mushrooms or acid. The drawings I have from my speed days are almost solid black ink drawings, really detailed, obsessive and time-consuming (and dark!). I can distinctly remember thinking I would run out of ideas one day. I started tattooing in 1992 and was doing it full-time by 1996. I was having art shows and selling my art the same time I started tattooing. It slowly became the way I earned my living.
Eventually, though, even with my dream job, my life was about to fall apart and I made my first steps to quitting drugs and alcohol. I kind of became addicted to work at that point. I guess I just replaced one addiction for another that was healthier. It’s not 100% healthy though and I have physical repercussions when I work too hard or too much. I have matured a lot these last 18 years and I can recognise my addictive behavior and when I need to take time to correct. The point I want to make though is that even in the beginning of my sobriety I was amazed at the flow of creativity and ideas. And instead of procrastination (typical quality of a stoner) I found passion and motivation in my clear thoughts. I wasn’t suffering because I found help in AA meetings and I had thrown myself headlong into the steps and a spiritual quest. And when I was suffering art was a very good therapy for me. My creativity as a sober person is stronger, more focused. I feel that my personal work has always been a deep exploration of my inner world and for me it’s working out well