They’re discussing whether artists are lunatics or not. One professor has proven many great artists had mental health issues: he’s trying to show causality.
Are artists creative because they’re nuts? Or nuts because they’re creative?
Here’s my take on it: creativity isn’t crazy-making. But it can ask for behaviours not inherent to the artist.
The number of writers of creative materials I know: around 30.
The number of those that are hard-nosed business persons, who have high risk tolerance and love self-promotion and are good salespersons and have enough inbuilt self-love to not care with serious critique or changed goalposts… maybe 2.
Risk-taking is insecurity, and insecurity can be crazy making. Writing is a lot of work with little chance of payoff. Even WITH payoff – because I probably know more paid-off authors than most – it’s still work, monetary risk, rejection stress, no obvious ladder, no clear entry point and vague attainment levels. Even the ones who “make it” are steeping in a stew of many cultural bosses and no clear goalposts towards ‘mastery’.
There is situational depression to be confronted in these attributes, if you’re working hard. Square pegs in round holes.
So what happens when your drive to create and be heard, your urge to share something you think is missing, is greater than your own self preservation regarding the stressors of the attempt?
Yeah, I think probably artistic sorts have a tendency to struggle… but it’s not the avocation, it’s the profession.