The Truth of the Tortured Artist | Summary and Q&A

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January 31, 2019
by
The Art Assignment
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The Truth of the Tortured Artist

TL;DR

Art can be born from great pain and suffering, but artists don't have to be tortured to create meaningful work.

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Key Insights

  • 👨‍🎨 Art can be born from pain and suffering, but it doesn't mean that artists have to be tortured to create meaningful work.
  • 🔬 The creative process can be incredibly challenging and require considerable hardship, toil, and labor.
  • 🧑‍🎨 Artists may struggle to effectively communicate something of themselves, which can appear as being tortured.
  • 🧑‍🎨 Creating art can be a form of therapy, allowing artists to release their suffering and address their darkest thoughts, motivations, and desires.
  • 🧑‍🎨 The interior experience of an artist isn't always reflected in their art or part of the story behind their work.
  • 🧑‍⚕️ Neglecting mental health or leaving it untreated in the pursuit of being a tortured soul can be dangerous.
  • 🧑‍🎨 The myth of the tortured artist arises when an artist neglects their mental health for the sake of creating good art.

Transcript

okay so I made a video called the myth of the tortured artist and after it came out I realized pretty quickly that I need to acknowledge the truth of it too I stand by my statement that there is little to no conclusive research linking creativity and mental illness full stop but I failed to address a few things including that making art can be hard... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Is there conclusive research linking creativity and mental illness?

No, there is little to no conclusive research linking creativity and mental illness. While art can be born from pain and suffering, it doesn't mean that artists have to be mentally ill to create meaningful work.

Q: Why do some artists appear tortured while creating their art?

Making good art can be incredibly challenging, and artists may struggle to effectively communicate something of themselves to others. This struggle may manifest as appearing tortured, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are mentally ill.

Q: Can art be created quickly, or does it always take a long time?

Art can be created both quickly and over a long period of time. Some artworks may take months or years to complete, while others can be created in a short period of time with a few swipes or marks.

Q: Why do people believe in the myth of the tortured artist?

The myth of the tortured artist may exist because it adds a modicum of validation to art being expensive. If an artist struggles over a piece, it may seem like a more valuable commodity. However, artistic skill and craft can also be honed and built up over the course of a career, without needing to be tortured.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Making art can be difficult and born of great pain and suffering, but it doesn't necessarily mean that artists have to be tortured.

  • Artworks can take months or even years to complete, requiring considerable hardship and labor, but there are also artworks that can unfold in a short period of time.

  • The internal struggle of the creative process can be transformed into something meaningful that can be shared.

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