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ADHD And Artistic Expression

Art or technique?
Art or technique?

Art belongs in the ADHD life. It is intrinsic to the distracted, eclectic and rapid life of people with ADHD. And even though some of us are intently devoted to work and callings that are not considered artistic in nature, the truth is that we bring art to those things and find art in them as well.

At one time, my work was the work of a computer programmer. If you were looking for something that seemed to be the antithesis of art, computer programming seemed to be it.

And yet, there is a beauty to well written code. Like choice of medium, the subtleties of a programming language manipulated by a skilled coder could appear to have a beauty that could be appreciated. Constructions of procedures and functions could be observed to be blatantly sublime to the minds of other coders and systems analysts.

Artistic beauty is in the subtleties or presentation

There is a beauty in the arrangement of the things that are used by people of certain vocations that others of that same vocation and even of related vocations can see. There is beauty in the rendering of mathematical formulae, of the written descriptions of scientific methods, in the spreadsheets of financial analysis.

There is an exquisiteness in the engineering of a bridge or a damn, a resplendence in the building of a house or shed or barn or church or hall or arena or mall, an attractiveness in the design of new car or dress or stereo or phone or piece of furniture.

Some of us are artists, but ….

And while so many of us bring into our lives the arts in more traditional ways, choosing to work for our vocations or as hobbies at such things as visual arts or music or poetry or prose, those of us who don’t are often focused to a nearly unhealthy degree on perfection of details well beyond the requirements of our non artistic jobs.

We are almost religious about getting details right. And often we are anxious about failing at perfecting those details to the point where we stress over them as if they were the only thing that mattered.

And some of us are on both sides of the fence

And for those of us who’s lives encompass both artistic and non artistic vocations, it is easy to see how we are often taking tasks that are not traditionally considered artistic to new and minutely detailed artistic levels.

And I personally think it may not be possible to stop ourselves from doing that, from seeing the ways in which we can make the tasks we care about sublimely perfect and then be unable to not do that, be unable to not make the things we do be works of art.

Maybe, or maybe not

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe this is all about being Kelly and nothing about being someone with ADHD. But either way, I’m convinced there is no cure. But a little understanding would go a long way.

ADHD And Artistic Expression

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2015). ADHD And Artistic Expression. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Aug 2015
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