10 November 2005

Those Melbourne artists are crazy!

Whenever I commit a murder, I often think of it as an artistic enterprise. Blood looks exactly like Deep Cadmium Red and it’s easy to get palette knives and carving knives confused. Whenever I’m burying a body in my back yard or weighing another one down with cinder blocks, I think that I’m ridding the world of undesirable details, to better achieve purity and balance in the overall composition of the world.

These thoughts came back to me the other day when I read a report of a study by Karen Hendricks of Melbourne University who examined 40 artists and a similar number of non-artists to test the links between personality disorders and creativity.

Apparently, while all creative people have a tendency to schizo-type personalities, she found distinct differences between the three groups. Well, ‘der’ Karen, I or one of the voices in my head could have told you that!

Apparently, writers are the craziest and the most neurotic. Painters, photographers and sculptors are the closest to ‘normal’, although they were more deviant than normal personalities. She obviously hasn’t met the man who painted my bathroom.

Apparently the report declines to say whether these results were the affected by the study having taken place in Melbourne. A not-unimportant detail, I would have thought.

One way she tested the groups was to give them problems to solve and examine whether the answers were conventional or divergent. Participants might have been shown a brick and asked to suggest possible uses for it. “The non-artists would say it could be used for building and things like that, while the artists were more likely to say it could be thrown through a window,” she said.

She did not say anything about weighing down bodies, but that might just be me sounding divergent again.


kranki said...

I would love to read more between the link between mental stability and creativity. I have yet to meet anybody who is the head of a bank who also works as a performance artist.

Where can I read more about it? As a crazy artist who get very little accomplished by my own standards I like to have imperical evidence to show why I am a cool genius even though I an less that balanced.

Many artists shun Prozac and other types of drugs as altering or hindering their creative process. It's a cool topic and makes me wonder how to find a blaance between living as a true artist and being able to get through the day without having a fit.

You have to decided what ratio of excitement to stability you want to have in your life and this has proven to be a difficult task for me.

kranki said...

Ignore the typos. My other personality who commented has only had a fifth grade education.

Crritic! said...

A visit from His Krakiness! I am not worthy...!

An article on the report can found at: http://uninews.unimelb.edu.au/articleid_2897.html

More solid stuff can be found in the 29 October edition of New Scientist magazine. Have a look here: http://www.newscientist.com/contents/issue/2523.html

Fill me with your Kranki presence any time you like. I remain your committed servant. (Not literally committed, but you get the idea).