Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mental / Emotional “ISSUES”

This week I overheard a person explaining why they were undergoing psychological therapy. He said defensively, “I have issues!” I thought that was an interesting and humorous way to put it. I am not laughing at him; I am laughing WITH him. I have “issues” too! Who DOESN’T these days? Currently, I don’t go to therapy or take medication for my mental, emotional maladies. I just deal with them as they emerge. My whole life has been one long tidal surge (in or out, up or down, over or under, hyperventilating or smothering, happy, sad, mad, yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah). It gets very tiring and exhausting especially if these swings are monumental enough to warrant a diagnosis.

I have often read articles questioning the link between artists and mental illness. I have read enough literature about this topic that it is apparent that any connection is an assumption. Nothing has been proven. Yes, it seems artists tend to be more emotional and sensitive. However, I haven’t seen any research on this as it relates to an “artists” subset juxtaposed along side the human race as a whole. In other words, artists are just a microcosm of society. People with “issues” are from all walks of life. It is just that artist’s work advertises the drama. Speaking of myself, I know this is a genetic thing. I can't complain though because I got my "issues" genes from the same gene pool as I got my creative genes!

Artists who are walking the emotional tightrope have an advantage. Artists have their art as an outlet. They can find a way to channel this energy through the making of the work and have a concrete manifestation of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of particular moments once the work is complete. Of course by showing your work, you are exposing your “issues” but that act could be interpreted as a way of embracing or casting off those demons. Take your pick. I have survived as long as I have because I have taught myself to pull myself out of the funk or just hold on for dear life when I am experiencing a destructive “tidal wave”. Also, the manic times can be fun! However I can say with confidence, if I hadn’t been an artist all my life, I would have been dead a long time ago.

by “Unknown Artist”
A kid just handed me these beauties. I was in such a frenzied state at that moment, I can’t remember who gave them to me! I guess it was a moment I was having “issues”!!

1 comment:

Viv King said...

Hi Sheree
just popped in for a visit - how are you. yes- we artists are a sensitive bunch but that is what makes us beautiful! visit me at
keep in touch