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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Creative Genius: a rant (quite possibly from a minor psychopath).

Oh yes, the creative-person-must-be-nuts thing.


A study from De La Salle University in Manila led by Adrianne John Galang has found that 'generally...a creative field might not just shape a person into a more arrogant or dishonest personality, it might be actively selecting them, not for the sake of having disagreeable traits, but because such traits meaningfully co-vary with creativity itself.' 

The psychologists conclude that 'emotional dishibition, in the form of psychopathic boldness, is actually integral to some creative personalities and functionally related to the creative process.'

Ah yes, of course that's right! you may say. That Van Gogh was a creative genius and he was nuts!

True: but then Jane Austen was also a creative genius, and she doesn't seem to have been nuts at all.

Look, here's another couple of theories: 

1) Works of Art need to be sold, and part of the marketing process involves making the creator of a WoA interesting. This means that the art that's marketed is often the stuff by the artist with the interesting back story - or a willingness to perform one. 

(By the way, some artists are definitely psychopathic, but then so are some postmen - but it's much easier to judge who are the best postmen than who are the best artists.)

(Not that I'm saying for a moment that psychopaths can't be great artists or postmen.)

2) Here's another theory: people who are...unusual...might have more difficulty holding down a job which requires lots of routine and personal contacts than people who are less unusual, so creative work might be their only option.

NB These are just theories: I don't believe them, I just accept they're possibilities.

So, anyway, how nuts am I?

Oh, I should say somewhere between not at all and totally

Just like the rest of us.

Illustration of a not-artist by John Tenniel

Word To Use Today: psychopath. This word comes from the German psychopatisch, from the Greek psyche, soul, and pathos, suffering. 

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