Misconceptions about the suffering artist

Sometimes really bad things will happen to me and sometimes I feel brave enough to tell people about these things. But sometimes the people I’m opening up to have no clue what they are speaking about and say things like “Well I’m sure you can make some great art out of this!” And I sit there thinking about what a ridiculous statement that is. And that’s why I’m going to explain correctly how suffering is connected to art.

I’d first like to explain that while art is an outlet that artists are still human. When artists become upset or even depressed it’s not as if they automatically run to a canvas crying their eyes out to churn out art. (Although let’s be real I’ve had my fair share of crying over pieces that I never finished because the whole purpose of starting them was to tear it up.) So no there’s not an automatic desire to create when upset, in fact it’s quite the opposite. There’s no desire to even get up, no desire to shower and no desire to even be. Artists are usually defeated during these times when they can’t deal with suffering.

A way suffering can tie into art (yet still not directly) is when an artist has come to accept whatever it is that happened to them. After this they may create a piece about it and by that they are saying “This happened to me, I got over the (immediate) sadness and I accept it.” It’s like a way of getting over feelings even after you’ve already got over them.

So now think about this, if a person has a life full of usual sadness/suffering what happens when they are happy? They are consumed by it. When suffering is over and an artist feels truthfully happy it is felt with a ridiculous intensity. This is what drives people to get the heck up out of bed and paint something because they finally have the motivation! This is what makes great artists according to people and I have to say that I agree to an extent. It seems that people who go through pain constantly seem to appreciate happiness a bit more. And as a result produce much more meaningful artwork then the spoiled brat that’s goes to an art college to be trendy. (Let’s be real, those kinds of people have the most unemotional pieces.)

So to conclude this post I’ll say it once again. Suffering is not what directly motivates artists to create. If artists only suffered and felt nothing else, nothing would ever get done by them. It’s honestly those rare moments of happiness and closure that make artists create meaningful work.

-The Broke Artist


10 thoughts on “Misconceptions about the suffering artist

  1. I feel the same with writing, or better I used to. But the misconception was mine though, thinking I could write meaningful stuff only when depressed or suffering. Later I realized how it really works. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This is exactly how I feel,
    I am an artist and still trying to figure out what really motivates me to create a work of art. I absolutely agree with you that suffering does not always motivates an artist, it’s the same with me, until and unless I overcome that pain and accept it, I am unable to create anything.
    Beautifully written! Inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true. Some people think that they know what we feel as an artist or writer. There are also times when they think that we can get over into something easily through the use of art but they are wrong. Nicely Written by the way, Keep it Up!


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