Someone used this term describing another person the other day. In some ways I was like YES that totally describes him and in another way It made my stomach cringe. I started thinking to myself how I'm not a tortured artist and it giving me feelings of lack, as if I'm not a real artist because I'm not super dark and have an insane history or background to create cutting edge content and imagery. I don't have much drama.
It's true that this type of person creates interesting stuff. My favorite genre of film is the dark comedy. As a culture, we are obsessed with the inner workings and the dark mysteries of the human psyche. It brings about a heightened curiosity and intrigue. These types of stories and expression touch a space within ourselves that we can relate to as well as feel perplexed by. We wonder if these tortured parts can exist within us. It's addicting as a voyeur but isn't it addicting playing the lead role as the tortured artist too?
This isn't a type of artist, this is a categorization of another human. It's a very attractive box because the darkness is easy to get swept up in. It's living in the contrast. The contrast gives the drama, emotion and depth in life as well as in art. It is interesting and sought out. It gains attention from others and we like that. The sad and the depressing become commanding aspects of desire from the outside world and we listen because at least they're looking our way. It's all so beautiful and real.
But the tortured artist is just another part. It is not our true nature. It is a methodology of personality, a role that we can choose to play. We can get super into being alone and miserable because "nobody understands us." But doesn't everyone understand? We are all here as human beings. We have the same feelings and emotions. Some days they are tortured some days they are sparkly fun. Some days I will paint darker images like black hearts ripped open and the next day I paint a Care Bear.
I don't believe in categorizing who we are, especially when it comes to creation. Creation just happens. Artists create because something comes through them. It's all different depending on any given moment of the day. Artists use shadow and light to convey the world as they see it. The tortured artist has all of the availability to stop at Michaels and pick up some Titanium White. The contrast doesn't exist without the light.