The Myth of the Tortured Artist

The Myth of the Tortured Artist

The myth of the
tortured artist is strong. The depressive poet,
the irascible painter, the manic,
substance-abusing writer. Hannah Gadsby brings this up at
her Netflix special, “Nanette”. And that’s right, I’m not
done talking about it yet. It’s super rare that
art history gets mentioned in the wider
world, and I have to maximize this opportunity. But anyway, this is what she
says about Vincent van Gogh. He wasn’t born
out of his time. He couldn’t network
because he was mental. He was crazy. He had unstable energy. People would cross the
street to avoid him. That’s why he didn’t
sell any more than one painting in his lifetime. He couldn’t network. This whole idea of this
romanticizing of mental illness is ridiculous. It is not a ticket to genius. It’s a ticket to
[EXPLETIVE] nowhere. Did I raise my fist in
triumph when I heard this? Yes. Yes, I did. Romanticizing mental illness
in the lives of artists is an absurdly popular trope
in movies, books, social media, and in art itself. Not only is it not reflective
of the lives of most people who do creative
work for a living, it can be destructive
and dangerous. But since “Nanette”, I’ve been
trying to better understand whether there really is
a link between creativity and mental illness. Every few years a
new study comes out that looks at this
from a different angle. The Karolinska
Institutet found, when looking at Swedish
population registries involving over 1.2
million individuals, that people in
creative professions were, in general,
not more likely to suffer from
psychiatric disorders compared to the
population at large. However, people in
creative professions were shown to be very
slightly more likely to suffer from bipolar disorder– if you’re Swedish. But anyway, if we
assume the Swedes are no different than
the rest of us, this finding could resonate with
some retrospective diagnoses that have been made about
creatives of the past. Like some have noted that
in Edgar Allen Poe’s letters and in his actual
writing, he describes symptoms typical of
bipolar disorders like extreme shifts in mood,
energy, and activity levels. He wrote in a letter, “I
am excessively slothful and wonderfully
industrious by fits. I have thus rambled away
whole months and awake at last to a sort of mania
for composition. Then I scribble all day
and read all night so long as the disease endures.” Now there are different
types of bipolar disorder. But all of them
share these kinds of up periods, known as manic
episodes, and down ones, called depressive episodes. Poe even refers
to it as a mania. But it’s that back
and forth wave between extreme
productivity and then crushing depression that we
tend to see depicted in movies and contributes to the
tortured reputation of artists. We have no idea how an
actual professional, using today’s criteria, might diagnose
Edgar Allan Poe if he time traveled to be evaluated
in person in the present. But people love to puzzle
over this question regardless, perhaps to better understand
the person whose work they like who died at age 40 under
mysterious circumstances, or perhaps to try to solve
a question that can never be solved, why a person was
able to make the amazing things that they made. Clinical psychologist
Kay Redfield Jamison has written and spoken
extensively and eloquently about what she found to be a
disproportionate rate of mood disorder or psychopathy among
highly creative people, namely renowned writers,
artists, and composers. And she has also explored
how the temperament, or cognitive styles, associated
with some mental illnesses can enhance or boost creativity. Like during a manic
episode, someone might experience the
extreme focus, restlessness, and little need for
sleep that could be seen as a temporary advantage
when working on something. Redfield Jamison says the manic
depressive temperament, what we used to call bipolar,
is, in a biological sense, an alert, sensitive system that
reacts strongly and swiftly. It responds to the
world with a wide range of emotional, perceptual,
intellectual, behavioral, and energy changes,
which can be good things. But this manic
state, while it may be experienced as
pure creativity, can in practice yield work that
is partially or even entirely incoherent, and
more critically, can be followed by episodes of
extreme and life-threatening depression. Redfield Jamison made this chart
of the productivity of composer Robert Schumann for a
“Scientific American” article in 1995, showing a relationship
between his mental health states and how many compositions
he made in a given year. You see the most
compositions were made when he was manic and
the least when depressed. And of course, none
at all after he attempted suicide
and later died. It’s important to note that
Redfield Jamison’s studies, and the ones she has
based her findings on, have been criticized for an over
reliance on anecdotal accounts, small sample sizes, and
inconsistent methodologies. But even if we consider a
more recent study from 2017 that found a slight correlation
between schizophrenia and creativity from
the International Center for Studies and
Creativity at Buffalo State, they conclude that while mild
schizophrenia symptoms might support creativity, full blown
symptoms hurt or undermine it. As Redfield Jamison
put it, no one is creative when severely
depressed, psychotic, or dead. Opening the door to say that
some aspects of mental illness can be beneficial or desirable
in some way is tricky. It can definitely
send us down the path of romanticizing illness,
but it might possibly help in finding new approaches
to treatment, ones that admit or try to mitigate the
loss of aspects of diseases that can be positive. But this is different
for everybody. Musician Jeff Tweedy
looks at the relationship between his productivity
and mental health quite differently. I look at it
like the part of me that is able to create
managed to create in spite of the problems I was having,
you know, almost as if that was the only healthy part of me. And that’s the part of me that
I feel like getting healthier I’ve been able to nurture. The more research
you read, the more you find that the
evidence suggesting that mental illness is
conducive to creativity is incredibly slight. The exception that the
Karolinska Institutet study did find when looking into the
prevalence of mental illness in certain professions
was authors, who were found to have an
increased likelihood of bipolar disorder as well as
schizophrenia, unipolar depression, anxiety disorders,
substance abuse, and suicide. Make of that what you will,
but remember that correlation does not equal causation. Mental illness does not
make you a good writer. It’s also worth noting
that other professions have been found to have
higher than average rates of mental illness. A famous 1990 study
found that lawyers had a higher rate of major
depressive disorders when compared with employed
persons generally. And a 2012 CDC analysis
of data from 17 states found that the occupation group
with the highest suicide rate was farm workers,
fishermen, and forestry. For me, these studies
only raise more questions. Like the Karolinska Institutet
defined creative professions as artistic and
scientific, which I thought was really cool
because of course creativity is involved in science,
although scientists do also get the rep for being mad. But then I try to think
about what professions are definitively not creative. Like can’t you be a really
creative accountant awake in the night with a
brilliant new idea for how to best account things? You can be a creative
engineer, teacher, YouTuber, building contractor, barista,
statistician, mortician, truck driver, mechanic,
flight attendant. We got six emergency exits on
this aircraft, two forward exit doors, two over wing window
exits, and two rear exit doors. Signs overhead and lights on
the floor lead to all exits. Seriously, what are the
jobs that don’t or can’t involve creativity? Data entry? Assembly line work? But then there’s the reality
that what you do for a living and fill out on forms
doesn’t necessarily reflect how creative you
are during your breaks or in your spare time,
or just inside your head. And then, of course,
you’re not always doing the job your best job
or that suits your talents. The more I try to pin
down what creativity is and whom can be said to have
it, the more indeterminate it becomes. There are studies about
what creativity is, but I can tell you
decisively that reading them may have the harmful effect
of draining all creativity from your consciousness. But examples abound of
prominent successful artists who do not appear to
suffer from mental illness. They might not be good
candidates for a Hollywood movie whose three-act
structure requires that they’re pretty good, then
hit rock bottom, and then rebound for
a transcendent finish, be it in recovery,
retirement, or death. It’s usually death. Mental health is
something artists negotiate just like
accountants do, or lawyers, or anybody else. But mental illness
is real and serious. And if you need help,
you can and should reach out to qualified
professionals who would like nothing better
than to try to assist you in getting healthier. What makes you an artist or
productive or successful, or what makes you
successful and productive and an artist all
at the same time is extremely unclear and
unpredictable and changing. Whether or not you
experience mental illness, you can be a person sensitive
to the world around you, a thinking and feeling
and expressive person able to make things that are
meaningful to other people. What are the things in life
that kindle and support your creativity? Maybe by focusing
on that question, we can reframe the conversation
about how art happens, and how we can better
know and celebrate the strange and mysterious and
sublime part of personhood. Like our show? Subscribe. Love our show? Consider donating
a little each month at Thanks to all of our patrons,
especially Grand Masters of the Arts, Vincent Apa, and
Indianapolis Homes Realty.

Dereck Turner

100 thoughts on “The Myth of the Tortured Artist

  1. The Art Assignment says:

    TLDR? Our question at the end is: What are the things in life that kindle and support your creativity?

  2. imam Baybars says:

    Or maybe it’s the uncreative majority of the world population that are arrogantly forcing their way of life on creative people and then when they get destroyed by the machine for being creative, people like you snobbishly call them mentally ill, it is you who are psychopaths with no emotions who are destroying creative people just like you destroyed your environment, if only you could see how disgustingly deranged you are.

  3. LexiDizzle says:

    As a depressed lawyer, I'm very much in the Jeff Tweedy camp. I'm not even currently working as a lawyer because I fell into a depressive episode not long after getting my license and haven't been able to look for a new job. As with any negative experiences, you can learn valuable lessons from depression and gain wisdom others don't have, which can be sublimated into compelling creative expression, but it's a vast and harmful oversimplification to say that mental illness makes good art. Hell, I think you only need to look at the number of comedians with depression to understand how even the most creative of them (RIP Robin Williams) are desperate to break out of it. Dedicating your entire career to making others laugh because you find it so hard to laugh yourself, or because you appreciate every laugh you can get so much more–it's exhausting.

  4. DinosaurFilms says:

    Not everyone is, needs to be or should be creative. Especially accountants.

  5. moardor says:

    normie casuals feeling left out because their art is lame

  6. Midwest Monstaz says:

    She really likes Hannah Gadsby

  7. Laen Laen says:

    Oof I dont get how anybody could do anything creative when "tortured" or in a not good mood. I just don't get it.

  8. Gabriel San Miguel says:

    The show Atlanta tackles this same subject on the episode “Teddy Perkins” but from the opposite point of view. Very intriguing if you want to hear a different point of view.

  9. JessieSamanthaEmily says:

    I feel like if we're looking at artists from history, it's less likely that they chose art because of their mental illness, but more likely it was the type of professions that best suited someone with bipolar disorder. Like, they would probably have periods where they aren't able to work because of depressive episodes and that doesn't work well in a "do a consistent amount of work every day" like farming or a trade or teaching jobs. And then they might want to work through the night when feeling really inspired when those who were well-suited for the regular jobs wanted to sleep like usual.

  10. Rishabh Raut says:

    sadness does make me more creative. makes me restless, uncomfortable, anxious and makes me hate myself

  11. K R says:

    This lady is wonderful to listen to…even though I don't agree with about 98% of her opinions…I feel like I learn something from listening to her take on art and life.

  12. Cal C says:

    Networking is just boneless nepotism

  13. miss1of2 says:

    Creative accounting is aslo known as fraud XD

  14. Taye Tamru says:

    Nice one 🙂

  15. Scarlett Bauser says:

    I guess it depends on how severe the depression is. In a depressive stupor nobody will do anything, let alone being creative. But history is full of tortured artists. With a tortured artist you just feel that this is for real, not an act –

  16. OrphicVideos says:

    I’m concerned about how people review this issue. I don’t know what the truth is, but I find it suspect when the discovered truth aligns perfectly with the current moral opinion.

  17. john smith says:

    Please talk about stream of conciousness

  18. Neda Nother says:

    You're wrong. You're not even looking in the right direction. And it has nothing to do with bipolar. You shouldn't comment on something you know nothing about.

  19. matt smith says:

    Yes, most creative people are not geniuses. But yes, the ones who were insane, and creative, created their genius.

  20. Yépez Croquer says:

    The girl who said Van Gogh couldn't network hasn't read his letters. It's sad to make money mocking and discrediting geniuses who's work contributed to a better and more beautiful life and will resonate forever with billions of souls, but that's the world. And of course the tormented artist isn't a mith, it's a fact documented by the artist themselves, it's the average urge to demise and simplify greatness. How can you judge an artist inner being to said he or she is not suffering when their art is the heaviest evidence there is of profound feeling and conflicted soul, the Mephistopheles is a recurrent team and goes hand by hand with artistic hypersensitivity. Unsubscribed.

  21. LastVCR says:

    I could not have picked more distracting music to randomly appear 3 minutes into an interview

  22. Doapsique Gaming says:

    The "creative truck driver" is a stretch. Don't get me wrong. I'm not disparaging truck drivers. My brother is a truck driver but he's also, coincidently, the least creative person I know. He once told me vampires must be real cause nobody could make it up. So yeah.

  23. Kevin Meadows says:

    Good video. As an art teacher, it can be a struggle with students who are feed pop culture images that romanticize mental illness in artists. It can have very negative effects. Some can feel like they aren't able to be successful in the arts because they are "too normal" or they feel a pressure to artificially cultivate some sort of mental illness. Neither one produces good artwork or a healthy individual. I have hope though that as we move further away from the Modern era of art, where the cult of the mad artistic genius is most pronounced, we will see this romanticization decline.

  24. I Don't Have A Name says:

    interesting. i've always loved drawing but tend to struggle to find inspiration. a year ago however, i had a period when i was heavily depressed, more so than i've ever been. i made my best art and was in a more consistent creative phase than i've ever been. part of it was that i needed an outlet to express my dark thoughts and feelings, the things i couldn't share with the world. part of it was that it kept my mind busy, something i desperately needed. now, since i've climbed my way out of that hole (somewhat) i haven't been able to produce anything quite as authentic and meaningful. it's odd how i was so motivated to create when i lacked motivation to even live during that time. i guess i'm one of the exceptions that prove the rule.

  25. Mad Wolf Productions says:

    Awesome! Thank You!

  26. yves st clair says:

    who doesnt need help?

  27. R M says:

    Not to be confused glorified the disease with empathize with an artist who creates unique art despite being ill. Hail Van Gogh, Rothko, Plath, and a large etc.

  28. averagelum says:

    You forgot the anxious animator

  29. Holy Ravioli says:

    0:32 listening to her makes me wanna cross the street to avoid her if i ever met her.

  30. Maranda Russell says:

    Creative types do tend to have much higher suicide rates, with poets being the highest I believe. I do think creativity and mental illness often go hand in hand. Maybe the same sensitivity that makes us notice things and see them in different or new ways, also makes us more sensitive to the bad feelings.

  31. dj0699 says:

    I think my OCD racing thoughts give me the urge to write

  32. Liam Sweeney says:

    You completely overlooked the insights into the human soul that mental illness can give you. To me, that would seem to be the main gift that it gives you when it comes to creative intuition.

  33. Angga angga says:

    Selfie, audience and financial appreciation. Is the right formula. Any incidents that comes after that then maybe..just maybe an internal disorder. Van gogh lacks the last 2 points. The case of describing gogh doesnt have network is more of a bitchy approach. Like a standup bits whining bout silly things. Its weird to say bout romantisizing illness. Because only a person in a good mood can paint the starry night.

  34. trev moffatt says:

    God that woman Gadsby is such a twat. Errr – using the word 'NETWORK' in relation to Van Gogh is wrong on so many levels.

    Van Gogh wasn't recognized in his lifetime, but he's not the only artist this is true of.

    El Greco, Vermeer, Blake, Constable etc didn't really enjoy much success either. Are we to conclude they couldn't Network either?

    Truth is, tastes change – and some artists are at odds with the prevailing styles. Their styles only come into fashion once they're dead.

    Van Gogh's style was just a bit too naïve and wild for impressionism. He really anticipated expressionism. He was a prototype expressionist

    But the real reason Van Gogh becomes the art hero, and a hero in general, is because he is misunderstood; the mad man that proves the great and good wrong, who perseveres in the end, even if he doesn't have any worldly success, he gets the last laugh in death.

    Plus he's doing art for the love and not the money. He never compromises his vision.

    In a sense he becomes a Christ type figure. A martyr to the cause of artistic purity, who never amounted to much in life, but in death is resurrected as art hero.

    If he could 'Network' that would hardly have helped his art hero status. Bit like saying, if James Dean had only obeyed the speed limit. Kinda missing the point.

  35. Khalid Muntasir says:

    It was a wonderful insight. Great job.

  36. Peter Gašperan says:

    weird part of internet again

  37. Jer0m3 3rron says:

    How did i get from how to draw goku to this? I aint complainin tho

  38. Gaby R. says:

    Farmers suffer from high rates of suicide???? That really shook me, I would be very happy if Im able to work in nature

  39. Pie Tart says:

    This ia a great and well informed video, fuck the dislikers.

  40. Alexander Airikainen says:

    A sickness in any form in most cases does nothing other than rob you of your health, and in that a primary aspect of a functioning life; but those who have suffered greatly, in my experience, tend to have a greater ability to question the world around them, themselves, and what is "expected," as well as be more ready and willing to try new, perhaps even creative ways of achieving "worth" and "value" since the capture of these states of being have often evaded them. Mental illness brings about a lot of suffering, and if you can learn from this suffering (and hopefully receive treatment to regain your position of functioning health) I think you can achieve something like being more "creative." But all suffering is equal in this question I think – this coming from someone with recently diagnosed bipolar disorder.

  41. fille12371 says:

    You mean all my suffering has been for nothing and did not grand artistic superpowers? Damn 🙁

  42. Maya Abenden says:

    I want to thank you so so so much for this show! Realising how disadvantaged women are in any type of art world really took it's toll on me and made it hard to just freely enjoy art for fear of being confronted with misogyny or the fear that I cant take myself or other women seriously due to the lack of representation. The way you handle these topics carefully, don't ignore discriminatory aspects of art, and are sure to balance the representation in listings really is appreciated and means the world to me! (Almost) only thanks to you can I allow myself to delve into this world. On edge as I usually am it just wouldn't be possible.

  43. ilikeceral3 says:

    ADHD can help me hyper focus…but not of my choosing. I’d much rather pick my focus than get it all at once. Concentrating a little on my art and a little on other stuff is better than obsessing over my art and nothing else.

  44. Scribe13 says:

    A lot of great artists just saw the world a little too clearly
    Is that mental illness?
    Maybe God is mentally ill. Maybe It is the artist
    Maybe It is the blood that flows

  45. Churn Blanston says:

    Writing is the most horrible artistic endeavor a creative can attempt. I started in graphic/visual arts and always enjoyed it. I then became a musician and greatly thrived with the collaborative nature and fan feedback with that medium. But, writing…it's lonely, tedious, and requires ungodly endurance with little to no feedback and/or praise. It doesn't surprise me that writers are the biggest nutjobs!!! Apathy has become my brand of unwellness.

  46. SwordOfTheRaven says:

    I'm sorry but if you are in a deep state of creation you are in a state of controlled frenzy, that's why it's great to have a focal point like art. Also that woman is a terrible comedian, van Gogh struggled to make his art and was ultimately successful beyond comprehension his art was great because it helped him overcome his Illness not the other way around and that's why people enjoy it to this day

  47. Andrew says:

    Mental illness and over thinking… art and over thinking…

  48. Andrew says:

    Mad poet=meh
    Mad scientist= yaaas!

  49. Andrew says:

    Even if illness is romanticized, it's not like people will go out and "get" a mental illness… it's better to respect them than fear and cast them out.

  50. Andrew says:

    Creative accountant hahah… money laundering!

  51. Lisa Lovely LPA says:

    Not a question of being more creative , when you are an artist and you paint yourself and you have issues , the world gets a look inside of you and that can give interesting views.

    Edward Munz definitely had depression but was cured and many critics say his art shifted to less intense when he overcame his depression.

    He had less to paint about.

  52. Bris Vegas says:

    great artists are not peaceful souls…..

  53. Beca Johnston says:

    The mayority of the artists…painters, musicians, writers, sculptors, anyone who produces a NEW-BEAUTY, a new a piece of Art, in all or any form… Is a tortured, reclusive, solitary, and bad-loved soul that creates surrounded by silence, their expression of himself, screaming loud in their art all what is inside of them… their inner-living colour of life… because nobody seems to see them or hear them… they are transparent ghosts… And only after they are gone… THEN their Art find his voice and shout it loud to the world, trying to find its creator…..

  54. Joy De says:

    not everyone's born a prodigy.. Few need catalyst.. could be torture (if you're a masochist) or probably love to understand the other aspect of life.. the psyche of an artist should be left with them.. and if we try to understand the source of art, (not inspiration) that isn't art.

  55. Jack Buenaobra says:

    Why is this channel so disconnected

  56. Daniël van Ginkel says:

    To be creative you first need to understand that the world is, to an extent, malleable and not a cookie-cut, predestined experience. And having a disorder or illness gives you roadblocks that either make you crash into them or drive you to take an off-road course. When working around such a roadblock you might just experience that you don't have to follow the paved paths that society has been laying out throughout history and that you could actually make your own (uncharted) path in every aspect of your life. If you are aware enough when doing something like that, you'll start to see that there might even be benefits to the off-road course you took and start looking around you to find more odd ways no-one else is taking. Basically creating your own way of doing things (being creative).

  57. nic loria says:

    they are depressed because they are broke, exhausted, unappreciated, and underpaid.

  58. Charlie Brown says:

    There are a lot of people bi polar who are not artist.

  59. Cc Hemmes says:

    I love these shows. The bottle of liquor behind the narrator is curious, the plain blue shirt makes you wonder about the creativity. Just observations that said, 'what?' no offense. Love art shows.,great work

  60. Andrew Guerrero says:

    Perfect. I’ve been saying this. I’m glad this vid exists! Thank you!

  61. irlart says:

    One thing that often bothers me, is when people find out that I am mentally ill, I'm often told in response 'that explains your art' as if I don't work very hard to make my art, and I'm just given this 'lucky' opportunity

  62. Hanna W says:

    Its to do with the patterns in the brain. High creativity is linked to an ability to think outside of the box, hence a different neurological pattern. Often very active nervous system, ibalance in serotonin dopamine, etc.

    But yeah, severly depressed or neurotic doesnt help. Lack of energy, concentration, etc.

    Im using myself as reference. Highly creative with a severe anxiety disorder, which I medicate for to even get shit done..

  63. Mario Gastegger says:

    Is there a bottle of vodka in the background?

  64. Szymon W. says:

    again great episode but I feel like in many others music backgroud is to loud.

  65. existential crisis says:

    I love all the people who disliked this video.

  66. Stuart Jones says:

    It’s a fine line between genius and madness. Unfortunately mental illness does go hand in hand with genius music artists, painters etc but you would only know this if you’re a true artist yourself. I don’t think that this person is

  67. Ece Era says:

    i disagree. its NORMAL to feel extreme swings of mood, and to feel pain while feeling pleasure. i think its a sign of awareness not a damn mental illness.

  68. Jamie J. Tilley Outside Dream Guide Art says:

    I had a rather prolific 18 month period in 2016-2017. When it faded, I became pretty melancholy. But did I lose the creativity because I became depressed, or was I depressed because I felt like I couldn’t create?

  69. David Mayhew says:

    How about drugs? Writers are often stereotyped as heavy drinkers and there are examples. Or, heaven forbid, pop stars where drugs are a requirement. How about romanticizing people in general. Cult of personality. Like Oprah or Peron. What about romanticizing people with disabilities like Frida Kahlo. Or people who suffered. I asked a woman artist why so and so was so respected as an artist and she said "well, she suffered". What??? Is that now a prerequisite for success? Pity? The bottom line is that people are crazy. Nobody is perfect. And success in any field is due to hard work and lucky breaks. If your in this game long enough you'll get something.

  70. Paulo Pombal says:

    In my opinion, the question about The Myth Of The Tortured Artist ( as so many others in life ) should not be addressed in black or white for the sake of truth.
    Indeed, correlation doesn't mean causation but there are several traits in sensitive people that can both lead to strong creative thought and mental illness.
    In that sense, maybe we shouldn't be talking about mental illness and creativity but more about how society and common people handle one's extreme sensitivity and how they clash it, castrate it and make sensitive people become mentally ill.

  71. Chris Cameron says:

    Imagine how many "artists" have not been discovered; because the thought of networking makes them ill..

  72. Grace XXX says:

    Hi thank you so much for this video! I was wondering what is the background music you used and how can I find similar styles of these? thanks so much!

  73. MASTER BLASTER says:

    Interesting work – intellectually moronic lack of skill and a true example of Psycho-Art that conveys a sense of depression & dread – other fine example of the lost artist generation trying share their miserable life experiences

  74. MASTER BLASTER says:

    Is that a bottle of vodka behind you? sounds like you need some rehab lady

  75. Melody Krell says:

    So you’re more educated than Kay redfield jamison?? This is ridiculous!! You are wrong!! Bipolars are gifted w mania which is related to genius!! You’re dangerous!!!!! There’s plenty of evidence. I am I. Hollywood’s world.. Bipolar is rampant

  76. Melody Krell says:

    This is sickening

  77. Angel Chea says:

    the bottle in the background is a good touch, whatever it is

  78. Ngare Watare says:

    I have to write an essay about romantisizing mental illness for a class on literary critisism and I feel like I'm heading down a very socially dangerous road here. As a writer and an artist, I have written and drawn some of my best works while being emotionally high strung. In fact, I don't think I've ever been alright while working on a project( though I'm still a student). I don't know what side to take since I've never been on the extreme ends of mania amd euphoria, but when depression hits, the short stories that I come up with, pure gold! It's sort of like reflecting unspeakable emotions on a piece of paper. Though I have had to go through constant therapy…this topic is plotholes through and through! Thing is, I don't think mental disorders are a goldmine of creativity for an artist, I think art is a form of therapy for a mentally disturbed mind …just look at van Gogh's last pieces before he commited suicide…they were a form of communication to the ppl around him concerning his distorted mental state at the time. If only his brother Theo had taken a hint…

  79. Adam Jones says:

    It’s not that someone with mental illness is more creative or better at expressing themselves, it’s that those emotions are so strong we can’t help but look for an outlet for them. Those who have felt what the artist is trying to portray can more easily relate to that art and feel what the artist is feeling. Instead of an appreciation for talent we more feel a kindredness sometimes.

  80. TheJhockman says:

    E.A.P. didn't die of mysterious causes. It was once a mystery but the mystery was lifted when a physician reviewed the reports of his autopsy and determined that he died from ask infection of rabies.

  81. G. G. says:

    Okay, at about 4:20 minutes, "may yield work that is partially or even entirely incoherent". Okay, that's where it sounds to me like "this is good art and this bad art.". I almost immediately watched something else, but stayed just in case there was something redeeming (there really wasn't). Maybe this video is an example of bad art because she wasn't painting, or maybe it's a masterpiece for making me think that.

  82. Hannah C says:

    I get frustrated because the only time I get good creative ideas are when I'm depressed

  83. ENI says:

    everybody has an usual habit , living lift style , priority , you just cant cut people in a box and call it mental illness

  84. Jonathan William Fay says:

    This sadly gives me more on-understanding question and makes it harder to to pin and understand why artistic people are never happy and can’t enjoy live in the moment?

  85. Marcel Moonen says:

    Remark: Manic is not the same state as Hypomanic (Schumann Table, it's written there Hypomanic).
    A manic state is the complete loss of sense of reality, hypomanic is an in between state.
    Vincent van Gogh painted 870 paintings in just 9 years (1881-1890). He was ahead of his time, true genious, he produced art because he needed to.

  86. pet per the commenter says:

    hanna gadsyb? you call that disgusting humorless dyke an artist? wtf… she is a pig that hates men that appeals to other pigs that hate men, thats not being an artist

  87. juan levario says:

    ehh too preachy

  88. Zokora von Yensloh says:

    Sure you can get inspiration from mental illnesses but all the creativity doesn't help when you can't create.

    It sucks when you have an amazing idea but no energy to actually do it. I'm a creative person but not when I'm deep in my depression.

  89. Yvonne Morgan says:

    I'm wondering about the correlation between past artists and madness associated with heavy metal poisoning associated with some pigments.

  90. Abby Gail says:

    Honey you missing a BIG thing… It's not about creativity… It's about real art that touches people… This can you just do by going through shit and sometimes mental issues is actually that… It's going through shit opening your mind and helping to understand yourself or sometimes losing your shit and picking yourself up (hopefully). Mental illness don't make you a great anything but it makes you deal with life faster and harder and louder. But sometimes that crazy guy that couldn't sale more painting and cut his fucking hear, give us actually an amazing look in how manic and depressing living actually is….and how colorful and banal. No its not all perfectly petty and nice and yes mental illness not need to have a romantic taste, but sometimes the one that see the world different see's it as the one that crossing the street when seeing it couldn't understand even if he socialnetworks his ass of. There is no guide line of beeing a great artist or beeing a one in a lifetime but mental illness is a hugh part of us humans…all artist have mental illness and addiction as ALL people have. So start there.

  91. Pappas says:

    Stephen Fry explained bipolar disorder very eloquently in many of his interviews. Van Gogh and these artists..They were not brilliant because of their mental illness, but in spite of them. Having said that, Hector Berlioz DID experiment with opiates when he was composing the Fantastic Symphony, to affect his brain activity and release his imagination through that state of mind.I agree one shouldn't romanticize mental illness, a terrible life or poverty; but dealing with these situations, and having to survive them – and I speak of personal experience- DOES motivate and activate the creative channels from within. Cheers,:-)

  92. B. Bailey says:

    i disagree with that awful speaker on Van Gogh. i think there are more shades of grey thanthat speaker can grasp. An ignored TRUTH is that many artists don't fit into a "neuro-typical" society, and the depression, ostracization, and isolation of that is existential, not "craziness." the presenter is good because she has an open, questioning mind.

  93. Don Bailey says:

    If your not talking about the oil painter, your not talking about an artist.
    The myth that artist must suffer is questionable, today has a no claim on any understanding of art,
    Now if your were to ask are modern artist spiritually deformed
    You might be on to something.

  94. Don Bailey says:

    When you demystify art,
    ( i mean , the painter ) you lose a great part of what it is to be human, a man set apart reaching for the sacred , which stays just beyond his reach.
    Which is why modern art is a fake and a fraud, it is not man reaching into the unknown in search of that which is greater then himself, modern art has locked man into his oun mind away from GOD and nature to feed on the emptyness of his oun mind
    Rather then seeking the frist cause which is GOD.
    Reach into the unknown, into eternity, you will meet GOD or the
    Anti – god, both are there, but only one man in a thousand will beable to do so. Have a starry, starry night.

  95. Luke Gambino says:

    I agree romanticizing that stuff is not very smart. Scary to think about how much we put those who promote it on a pedestal

  96. triple swing says:

    being an accountant and artist is a balance to be mentally stable.

  97. C.E. SCHLINK says:

    Why does the world need “LABELS” so much?

  98. The Southern Lady says:

    There definitely IS a link. I've seen it over and over again and that comedian was highly offensive.
    I enjoyed these shows until now.

  99. SciFiPainter says:

    There’s a reason it is referred to as a soft science. Psychology is an excercise in confirmation bias, not the scientific method. You’ll find no answers there.

    Want to know if a particular artist is tortured? Ask them. They are literally the only person who could tell you 😉🤷‍♂️

  100. Ugh says:

    You need to be agitated in some way or another to produce art with emotion in it. Thus, eventhough mentally-ill artists perform better while in treatment (better living conditions), they were inspired by past trauma.
    I also don't know any good artist that isn't mentally-ill.

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