Personality Articles

Three Creative Minds: Dolan, Lange, Binoche

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Xavier Dolan

Multitalented people often express stimulating perspectives on realizing their creative abilities and passions. Here are comments from three well-known artists.

Xavier Dolan has credits including: Actor, Writer, Producer, Costume designer, and at age 25 has directed five feature films.

He has said “I don’t know that I’m being prolific, I’m just responding, I’m being authentic and I’m just listening to my needs in terms of expression.” …


Creative People, Mental Health, Misdiagnosis

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

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.

Patricia CornwellNovelist 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.”


Alejandro Inarritu on the Creative Process

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Alejandro Inarritu

“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.


Margaret Keane: Overcoming Exploitation

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Margaret Keane

In the 1960s, paintings of “sad-eyed children,” massively reproduced in posters and cards, became possibly the best-selling art in the world for a time, thanks to the tireless marketing by Walter Keane of “his” work. The “big eyes” images were owned by celebrities and hung in many permanent collections.

But Walter Keane was a fraud and plagiarist: the art was actually created by his wife Margaret Keane.


Alan Turing: Exceptional Intellect and Asperger’s

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Alan Turing

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.


Creative People With Schizophrenia – Part 2

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Mercury by David Marsh

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.”


Multitalented: So Many Choices

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

college-majorsOne of the myths of creative and multitalented people may be that they can choose whatever personal and career paths they want.

Having many interests and abilities can make for a rich and satisfying life, but also be a source of stress, especially at crossroads like choosing college majors.

Gifted education specialist Tamara Fisher quotes Bryant (a pseudonym), a graduating senior who lists his possible future careers as “applied psychologist, scientific psychologist, college teacher, philosophy, mathematics, architect, engineer.”


Chaos and Creative Expression

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Dylan Thomas-word-network“The very impulse to write, I think, springs from an inner chaos crying for order, for meaning, and that meaning must be discovered in the process of writing or the work lies dead as it is finished.” Arthur Miller

Creative people and writers about the creative process often say creative work is a way to release or make use of inner chaos; what is this turmoil?

Psychologist Stephen Diamond declares in his book that our impulse to be creative “can be understood to some degree as the subjective struggle to give form, structure and constructive expression to inner and outer chaos and conflict.”


How Sensitivity Can Enhance Creativity

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Jessica Chastain in Miss Julie“For me, fashion is incredibly emotional. I go to shows in Paris and try not to cry.” Actor Jessica Chastain

Qualities such as emotionality and empathy can help highly sensitive people be especially creative.

The self-test Are You Highly Sensitive? by Elaine N. Aron, PhD includes the items:

“I have a rich, complex inner life” and
“I am deeply moved by the arts or music.”


Being Happy As An Artist

Friday, September 5th, 2014

“I’ve suffered enough. When does my artwork improve?” Refrigerator magnet

StingThe tortured artist mythology is an ancient and enduring one: The idea that art depends on suffering, and artists need to be suffering with dark emotions, and need their pain to create.

But that is a wrong and destructive idea.

For example, in his appearance as a guest on The Ellen Show, Colin Farrell said he is more creative being sober and happy.

“I ascribed to the notion that to express yourself as an artist, you have to live in perpetual pain. And that’s nonsense.”

Musician Sting also said he bought into this myth for a long time:


 

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Recent Comments
  • Megalodon: Very good article. It seems to go along with what I have seen. I do know that “intelligence”/...
  • Douglas Eby: Related post with videos, links to her books: Elaine Aron on the trait of high sensitivity...
  • Dr. Michelle Chaban: What a great article and reminder to us all that everyone is different. It is important not to...
  • walker4444: Yes, one can find a mountain of qualitative and anecdotal evidence for the prevalence of mental health...
  • Sheila A: Another good book is Highly Sensitive People, Elaine N. Aron
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