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Creative Thinking

Creative People, Mental Health, Misdiagnosis

A full list of talented and creative people who suffer anxiety, depression and other mental health challenges, would, of course, be limitless; being creative, gifted and talented does not exempt any of us from those problems.

Novelist Patricia Cornwell is one example of an artist who has experienced mental health issues.

She comments:

“I’ve had my own difficulties. My wiring’s not perfect and there are ways that you can stabilise that. I have certain things that run in my own ancestry.

“It’s not unusual for great artistic people to have bipolar disorder, for example…The diagnosis goes back and forth but I’m pretty sure that I am…I take a mood stabiliser.”

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Creative Thinking

Alejandro Inarritu on the Creative Process


"In the creative process every human being is confronted with doubts and contradictions and flaws..."

Acclaimed for his films including "Amores Perros," "Babel" and "21 Grams," Alejandro González Iñárritu has earned a number of award nominations for directing and co-writing "Birdman."

In a theatre, we can enjoy the results of sometimes hundreds of talented people collaborating on making a movie, but there may be many years of often messy and emotionally challenging creative process that goes into getting a film actually produced and released. Iñárritu has made a number of interesting comments about that process.

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Creative Thinking

Fairy Tales and Bigger Truths


“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein

Stories, perhaps especially the more elaborate and potent examples of fantasy and fairytale, can do more than entertain: they can reveal how others, and ourselves, manage being human. And how we can do better at it.

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Creative Thinking

Alan Turing: Exceptional Intellect and Asperger’s


British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing led a group of other brilliant codebreakers, including Joan Clarke, at Bletchley Park outside London during WWII to crack the German's Enigma code.

One of his biographers, professor S. Barry Cooper, writes that Turing “was a strange man, who never felt at ease in any place...He randomly adopted some conventions of his class, but rejected with no regret and hesitation most of their habits and ideas.

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Creative Thinking

Creative People With Schizophrenia – Part 2


Elyn Saks (photo at right in Part 1) is a law professor at USC; an adjunct professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, where she does research about society’s rejection of the mentally ill and how high-functioning schizophrenics cope; and is a recipient of a “genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

An article notes "She kept her schizophrenia hidden while excelling in her academic studies, receiving a philosophy degree from Oxford University and a law degree from Yale University."

She wrote of her experiences in her memoir, “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness.”

See more in post: Elyn Saks, Schizophrenia and Creativity.

She has commented, “Ironically, the more I accepted I had a mental illness, the less the illness defined me — at which point the riptide set me free.”

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Creative Thinking

Where Do You Get Creative Inspiration? – Part 2

[Continued from Part 1.]
"Before the dance of inspiration and perspiration can begin, there must be some raw material, some spark of inciting energy."

From the book The Soul of Creativity: Insights into the Creative Process by Tona Pearce Myers.

Actor Rose McGowan relates an experience that may be common for many creative people: being inspired by seeing someone else's artwork or other form of creative expression:

"After saving my allowance for ten years, I flew to Paris when I was 15 years old. When I visited the Musée Rodin, I was profoundly inspired by the story and the pain of Camille Claudel. Her diminutive sculptures — much smaller in stature to Rodin's — led me to become an artist."

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Creative Thinking

Where Do We Get Creative Inspiration?

Where does creative inspiration come from? It may show up mysteriously, "out of the blue" - and for a good part of human history, it has been explained as a gift from a supernatural being, a Muse.

At least some people still embrace that idea, or at least like to use the concept.

Novelist and author Steven Pressfield writes in his book "The War of Art" about pulling in creative power when we are doing creative work:

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Creative Thinking

Fear and Courage and Creating

"The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring effort. Creativity takes courage." Henri Matisse
What fears and anxieties are holding you back from expressing yourself more creatively? Matisse and many other artists and psychologists note creative work requires courage or dealing with our fears.

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