The love affair of the artisan and the mad.

Artisans and mental health have had a long relationship, one that would tick the “it’s complicated box”.

Amongst my therapy days sat in deep painful thought I like to escape into the question of,  why are they all so bloody gifted?  followed by,  what’s my gift?International artists, actors, writers, poets, musicians. You name it and we have it. Not even the mediocre type, the ones that have you wondering if their life was not being sucked out by therapy, would they be famous? But what came first? Did their creativity drive them insane or did the insanity trigger their creative genius? Lastly.. Either I am not mad enough to be gifted or I was never gifted enough to be mad. Which leads me to question if that is correct, does it confirm that everyone around me is the problem and not me? If it were me I would be an artisan. So to be gifted do you have to be crazy?
My comfort is maybe my ability to escape into such ponders alone may mean I have some glitter sprinkles of creativeness.


The evidence throughout history regarding the creative genius is all there. The best were batshit.

๐ŸŽผ Beethoven. Bipolar
๐ŸŽผMozart. Depressive episodes, hypomania (questionable bipolar)
๐ŸŽผ Elvis. Some serious addiction and eating issues.
๐Ÿ“– Charles Dickens. Depression with a history of childhood trauma and poverty.
๐Ÿ“– Tim Burton. Let’s just look at his darkness.
๐Ÿ“– Roald Dahl. Every characters based on a child that becomes truimphet after a truama or darkness. Much has been said about the authors own life and insight.
๐Ÿ’ก Issac Newton. Indications of bipolar.
๐Ÿ’ก Abraham Lincoln. Depression.
โœ’ Shakespeare. Dude wrote way to much on characters with some serious mental health and with a clear insight.

Then of course there are all the premature deaths and questions and non questions over many other celebrities. Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, Marilyn Monroe, Micheal Jackson, Whitney Houston and Britney Murphy.
We also have the celebrities we all question how long they will survive for, whilst society salivates watching their public mental health struggles. Britney Spears, Pete Doherty, Johnny Depp and of course I know I’m not alone in questioning Quentin Tarrantino.
It has all become just an acceptable norm that the famous are mad, so normal and expected that our bookies will run odds as to who is most likely to die in the coming year.
My own dysfunctional family have a death poll we run, I of course utilise my own mental health and pick the celebrities with the mental health and an addiction to medication.

So what does all this actually mean? The correlation is there but why is there no clear explanation? I have many theories I have concocted whilst escaping the therapy.
I wonder if the fact we are all of middle to upper class has any bearing. Whilst there were clear failings growing up maybe the class gave opportunity. There for your not actually born gifted you just had the opportunity to develop skill amongst the shit that was the rest of your life. Hugely indicative that I did not even have a rich shit life. It was a poor shit life. Double blow, story of my life.
Another theory is that when you are young and the mind is struggling to cope the brain cleverly takes you out of the situation. Dissociation and detachment. Where does it go? Does it sink into the wonders of music, musicals, endless timeless classics of films? Does it find that page in the book you loved and suddenly you are Alice singing with the flowers? or Dorothy on the adventurous brick Road? From here the development of an ear for music, or an imaginative mind can flourish and bloom.
Could it be that life just cannot see you and you cannot communicate your inner troubles and pain? An outlet has to be acquired. Could it be that you can escape and equally communicate by putting words into stories and poems. Can you draw your ass right out of the abuse? Placing it all over the paper in what ever method you find your hand doing first. Does the hand pick up that instrument and pluck or hit away until you have become that Opera House genius that can’t read music?

It cannot be the most serendipitous love affair,as much sense as this would make if it were only applicable to the odd view. Or can it? Is it that actually we do not give thought to the many artisans that seem to have balanced, normal, non batshit minds. For the hundreds in time we can name crazy what about the millions that we cannot. Are they just hiding it well? Maybe those drugs are still working? Maybe being rich hides you into a class much less willing to speak.

Art therapy has long been used within mental health institutions, it doesn’t just involve getting the paintbrushes out. It can be a psychodrama, mirror work, sculpts. It can be what ever you want or need it to be. That is the point of art. So this demonstrates its outlets are something effective.  Is it appealing to the artisan mind or is the artisan method guiding the crazy?

Artisans are known for their sideways thinking, the creativity of wonder, their ability to wear things in a way that just works, their ability to see the world in a different colour and a different way. They can cast their minds into eras long gone, drapped in vintage. They will be the ones asking questions about life no one has ever asked you. The ones making up stories and believing in fairytales. You will find them reading endlessly or with blisters from the pens. They will be unreachable through the sounds of music. You will find them dramatic with hand gestures or performing like a jester. All there and yet somewhat unreachable. Maybe in the moments of unreachable they escape back to the pain they started in, but stay and love the artisan because soon that very same pain will have them return into the creative genius.


I have reached no further conclusion to the forever asked link. There is not one to be had, for me it is as much as a riddle as the ” which came first the chicken or the egg” question. I always say the egg would never have been if the chicken didn’t “come”  but few miss the humour in my perverse retort. What I do know is I am still awaiting for my own gift to land, I shall assume I am not mad enough until then. When it does eventually come my way, because it outta, I hope it pours. Until then the family will continue to hear my out of tune singing, attempt to read my unreadable writing, look at my badly painted walls and stomach my undesirable attire.