Sunday, December 23, 2007

The sullen artist

Posted by Teresa at 10:14 PM
I think we've all heard the stereotype of the "tortured" artist. You
know the artist who wears blacks and sings or writes depressing
things. Usually their art comes after a sad experience. I tend to write
poetry when things are not going my way in life. I stop doing it because
I thought it comes off as whiny and just revealing too much. Nobody
wants to hear my "Woe, is me " story. Just because I'm in a sullen
mood why must everybody else see that.

I'm starting to rethink that logic again. Yes, perhaps, they're artists who
only seem to write, paint, etc. only when they are down. Maybe they are
only truly inspired in those moments of weakness and sadness. I find
writing and letting out what I'm thinking helps me deal with my emotions.

I remember reading this interview about depressive personalities and
creativity. Here's an excerpt:
CBS CARES: Van Gogh, Churchill and Tolstoy were all depressive
personalities. Is there a relationship between a depressive personality
and brilliance and creativity?

DR. ANDREASEN: There are different types of creativity but the
people you mention, van Gogh and Tolstoy, are creative writers and
painters who have very human forms of creativity. There is a profile
of a person who is creative. First, a creative person is open to experience,
exploratory, risk taking and tolerant of ambiguity. And those kinds of
traits make you see and feel more, but they also make you more easily
hurt and more prone to experience suffering. If you do that enough, it
can make you feel depressed.
It's an interesting interview. I'm sure not all creative types are like
Van Gogh, Churchill, and Tolstoy but there does seem to be a link there.

I think art should come from a truthful place. I'm not going worry about how
I come across anymore. If I'm happy that's what I'm gonna write about and
express. If I'm angry then my words will show that. If I'm sad than, well, let it
reflect in work. My work is creation of a flawed human being. Human beings
have been given the gift and curse of emotions. Yes, we need to learn how to
control our emotions and not let them control us. However, our art should not
devoid of emotion.

2 comments:

Jason on 9:30 AM, December 28, 2007 said...

Van Gogh was depressed because he had only one ear.

Tolstoy was depressed because he lived in cold snowy Russian with nagging in-laws and cheap vodka.

Churchhill was depressed because he had a face like a bulldog.

Dean Koontz sends me a newsletter every few months. He seems creative and happy, perhaps because he lives in sunny California.

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