Are All Artists Crazy???

trials

In your opinion, do you think-in general-that creatives (writers, poets, painters, actors; even scientists and philosophers) are a bit, er, “crazy”?    Would you consider some to have some form of mental illness?

Here are some quotes to consider:

“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence.” Edgar Allan Poe

“The notion that  inspiration requires  regression and dipping into irrationality in order to access unconscious symbols and thought has been popular across disciplines for hundreds of years. Plato said that creativity is a “divine madness…a gift from the gods”. Maureen Neihart, Psy.D.

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” Aristotle

“It is only too true that a lot of artists are mentally ill-it’s a life which, to put it mildly, makes one an outsider.  I’m all right when I completely immerse myself in work, but I’ll always remain half crazy.”  Vincent van Gogh

“The silence depressed me. It wasn’t the silence of silence. It was my own silence.”
– Sylvia Plath

Studies have shown that creative individuals tend to exhibit some form of mental illness (such as mood disorder or bipolar or depression) more so than non-creative individuals.

Why?

Could it be because we look at the world and at our experiences differently from others?  Could it possibly be that we tend to be hyper-aware of all that goes on around and within us?

Any thoughts or personal experience on this?

 

*Additional readings:

Madness and Creativity: Do we need to be crazy?

The Relationship Between Creativity and Mental Illness

The Sylvia Plath Effect

Writing and Mental Health

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Are All Artists Crazy???

  1. Myself, I pity the non creatives. They are locked lifelong in left-brain thinking, and I can understand how they might think the right-brained, irrational, creative approach resembles some form of mental aberration – even madness. Perhaps they feel safe in their definition of sanity, but it’s a very blinkered view of the world, and to my mind not quite sane in its self.

    Poe is an interesting character, one I mean to learn more about one day. I know he was at one time reviled by the left-brainers, yet paradoxically loved dearly by all the women in his life.

    Great blog Carrie.

    Regards

    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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