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Archives for September, 2010

Consciousness

Drugs and Alcohol and Creativity

Many talented, creative people have used drugs and alcohol. Some think a substance will help them be more inspired or productive.

Or they may be self-medicating their sensitivity. Sometimes they risk addiction.

Beethoven reportedly drank wine about as often as he wrote music, and was an alcoholic or at least a problem-drinker.

At least five writers who won the Nobel Prize for Literature have been considered alcoholics.

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Identity

Nurturing Creativity in Solitude

Musician Ani DiFranco produced her album "Educated Guess" entirely on her own.

An interviewer asked, "Your approach, your energy on the current tour and on the new album seem different. Why is that?"

DiFranco replied, "The difference is solitude. I have it in my life now, and I didn't for years, at all… now I’m alone on stage, it’s been like a year and a half, and I’m alone in my dressing room and I’m...
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Mental Health

Actors and Artists As Highly Sensitive People

One of the most defining personality qualities of creative people may be high sensitivity, which can be experienced as sensory reactivity, and emotional intensity.

Here are some comments by actors about being sensitive and emotional - perspectives that other creative people may share.

Jennifer Beals once said, “I get emotional all the time. I get emotional every time I make a speech, or talk about other cast members. Every now and again, my heart just explodes and...
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Mental Health

Amy Tan and Writing and Depression

In a SALON magazine interview, Amy Tan said, “I think I was pushed in a way to write this book ('The Hundred Secret Senses') by certain spirits in my life - the yin people. They've always been there, I wouldn't say to help, but to kick me in the ass to write.

“I'm educated, I'm reasonably sane, and I know that this subject is fodder for ridicule. But ultimately, I have to write what I have...
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Identity

Therapy Helps Access Our Creative Inner Life

"My therapist gives me permission to accept that I'm human."

Actor Claire Danes also commented in an interview that, earlier in her life, she was "on this whole perfection trip. And that's just totally boring. And arrogant!...

"I finally realized after years of that you can encourage yourself to move further in a nurturing way. You don't have to be abusive." [Allure, Nov., 1997]

Many creative people have talked about how valuable it can be...
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Identity

Creative Performers: Both Extroverted and Introverted

Jane Fonda: “Acting was the last thing in the world I wanted to do, I was so shy. But I got fired as a secretary and had to earn some money.”

She discovered her passion for acting in the mid-1950s while studying with famed drama coach Lee Strasberg, who told her she was special and had real talent: “It was like the top of my head came off and birds flew out and the sun...
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Creative Thinking

Developing Creative Identity Without Losing Authenticity

"Whatever success I may have is not going to come from a place where I'm trying to fit a mold. It's going to have to come from an authentic place."
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles is quoted in the article "Sara Bareilles finds her focus — finally" by Amy Kaufman [Los Angeles Times, Sept 8, 2010], who notes that the musician's first hit "Love Song" was about "the disdain she felt toward record label executives who...
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Mental Health

Developing Creativity – Depression as a Message

Depression can erode vitality and motivation, especially for creative people.

And shutting off our need for creative expression, not honoring this key aspect of who we really are, can itself be profoundly depressing.

In the article "The mind, as it evolves - Depression as a survival tool?" by Julia M. Klein, psychiatrist J. Anderson Thomson Jr. talks about treating an 18-year-old college freshman he describes as “intensely depressed, feeling suicidal and doing self-cutting.”

The article...
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Creative Thinking

Niki de Saint Phalle: Using Art to Express Rage

Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002) was a French sculptor, painter, and film maker. She was self educated, and learned from many of the Surrealists in Paris, such as Max Ernst, Rene Magritte, and Salvador Dali.

Among the challenges she faced were being uprooted from her mother for the first three years of her life, and being raped by her father at a young age. [Info from a biography page.]

One consequence of that kind of...
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