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Monday, November 07, 2005

Anti-social? No, just artistic - National - theage.com.au

Anti-social? No, just artistic - National - theage.com.au

I'll admit that I have found articles exploring the thought process of creative individuals very absorbing. I'm always interested in new twists and thoughts on the age old debates about creative people and their mental status. This time, I found the article more amusing then informative. Maybe Dr. Hendricks work is quite serious and scholarly. Perhaps it is the writer Geoff Strong and his choice of words that I find humorous but this piece really has me cracked up.

Starting off with the opening line... "Know any creative types: writers, painters, musicians, actors? Chances are they tend to be contrary, a touch psychotic and rebels, cause or not." I'm sucked in. I'm immediately in my self-analytical phase - picturing myself deeply indented into a black leather couch asking myself...Am I a rebel or just a cranky old man? Cause? You want causes? Hell, I got causes out the wazoo!

Ok, seriously... I'm off the couch and thinking about this article. The good doctor has decided that "all people who are creative tend to have schizo-type personalities." That is what the article says. Not some or most, but all. She has also found distinct differences between the three groups (writers, visual artists and performance artists).

According to Dr. Hendricks:
  • Writers had the most extreme personality disorders - more neurotic and less agreeable "they are more at odds with the world.
  • Visual artists - are the closest to normal (whatever the hell that may be) though still more deviant than normal personalities.
  • performance Artists - were the most likely to want to experience new sensations and novelties, and were also the most narcissistic.

So let me get this straight, it is because I'm a writer that I am at odds with the world? Gee, and I thought it was just because of the deep rooted corruption in government and the fact that we have a President who is a moronic mad man and a Vice President who is heavy into torture.

I loved the part in the article about how the doctor tested the groups of people by giving them problems to solve to see if their solutions were conventional or divergent. The example was showing them a brick and asking them to suggest possible uses.

A non artist would for example say - building things.

Artists were more likely to suggest it could be thrown through a window (At Dr. Hendricks office) - notice how I immediately think like an artist here.

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