The Tragic Artist

One of my favorite sites is SoulPancake (soulpancake.com). I submitted a question on the site about a year ago, regarding why so many incredible artists succumb to drugs and/or suicide. I’ll sort of reiterate the whole of the question here.

I discuss the topic of artistry with one of my best friends a lot. We decided we both find artistic men extremely attractive. Any kind of artist–a writer, musician, actor (a legitimate one, really) painter. Why? Because they don’t give a shit. Artists are so independent minded and so in tune with their own selves and souls that they couldn’t give a crap what other people think about them. Excuse the liberal speech but that’s so sexy.

I find real artists brilliant. They see things no one else does, and are able to bring those hidden truths to full focus in their work. They reveal the mysteries of humanity and decipher age old dilemmas in 5 minute songs.

Consider the brief list of  actors, writers, musicians and painters who have either killed themselves deliberately or drugged themselves (accidentally) to death: Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe and etc. Add to the list the amount of artists who have struggled with addiction and/or depression and the list is enormous.

None of the aforementioned artists were just okay. They were Oscar nominated, critically acclaimed, prize-winning, and in some cases, legends.

My best friend and I came up with this theory: If artists have already understood themselves through the creation of their work, and have already revealed so many things that are difficult for others to show–aren’t they bored? What’s more is, how can they relate to others who don’t possess that same kind of awareness? Wouldn’t they feel lonely?

I think too much don’t I?

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