Lucky Sparrows

 

When a photo is worth a thousand words, but you’re a little long winded…

Hug An Artist Today

I was just watching an interview/ year comparison with Billie Eilish (don't judge me, her music slaps) and she made a statement that all the famous artists that we see are sad. She was referring to her fellow musicians of course, but it seemed like a serious statement with some merit behind it so I went to look for myself to see if there is a consensus on this, and there is.

I know out of the photographers I know personally (anecdotal evidence) a good majority of them go through reclusive bouts and manic stages of creativity and the running joke is "we're all a bit messed up". From what I've been able to find though, we might actually BE a bit messed up.

"In the case of unipolar or major depression, the population rate is about 5% but the rate among artists and writers in the various studies between 15% and 50%."

One of the ideas behind the "why" of this seems to be that in order to be creatively minded we

1. Have these bouts of reclusiveness and self-reflection which could make us more prone to being overly analytical of ourselves as well as

2. "our openness to new experiences, tolerance for ambiguity, and the way we approach life enables us to perceive things in a fresh and novel way. Less creative types “quickly respond to situations based on what they have been told by people in authority”, while creatives live in a more fluid and nebulous (read: incredibly stressful) world.

“Such traits can lead to feelings of depression or social alienation,” writes Andreasen. "

I'd wonder if intertwining the creative mentality with also being a professional 24/7 with the advent of social media would compound the pressure.

I've seen photographers and other artists mention that once they started their businesses they felt like they couldn't speak or act as openly anymore. Primarily the fear seems to be that the repercussions of either of losing clients who didn't agree with their viewpoints regardless of art, or that they'd be viewed as less than reputable for taking a stance on anything.

This seems rather contrary to how the arts have operated historically.

Historically the arts have a multi-faceted use. The arts can be traced back as far as what we would now consider ancient times. Sculptures and paintings were used as symbols of power by the wealthy, and used as a voice for the oppressed to speak through.

Art has the ability to sway public and political opinion. Possibly no greater example of this could be seen than the WWII propaganda that was displayed on both sides of the conflict.

Yet with all that said most modern artists either don’t consider their opinions valuable enough to voice, or feel like having an opinion, taking a stance, will hurt them more than help them in the long run.

Really this post is out of character so we even had to decide if we could allow it on our blog. Even our blog, on our website, with our purchased domain, isn’t “ours” enough to post freely to.

Sadly this is also isn’t a new idea, it’s just that we’ve moved to censoring ourselves vs the more directly oppressive notion of being censored.

“Ludwig van Beethoven did not use the original title "Ode to Freedom" of Friedrich Schiller's lyric, known in English as "Ode to Joy" (1785), in setting it to music in the final movement of his Ninth Symphony(1824), which "Napoleonic censors had forced the poet to change to 'Ode to Joy'." After the fall of the Berlin Wall, on 9 November 1989, that Christmas Day, when Leonard Bernstein conducted a performance of Beethoven's Ninth at the site of the former East German–West German border in Berlin, a concert telecast nationally in the United States, he substituted Freedom for Joy to reflect his own "personal message"”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_arts_and_politics#History_of_art_and_social_and_political_change

With that being said, I love the craft, and the people working and grinding day to day at their craft. From photographers, authors, graphic designers, musicians, painters, and all the creatives in between.

If I had to see one more political post on my feed, or whatever the top ten drama piece of the day is, without also seeing a constant feed of art being shared onto my page I’d probably be forced to burn my facebook page down (figuratively of course).

I’ve seen things like this prefaced with “It shouldn’t have to be said” but that’s b.s frankly it should need to be said, not because there are consequences if it isn’t said, but because it doesn’t take a lot to be a decent person and care about your fellow humans.

To all my artists out there making really awesome things (and they are awesome): you are valuable, your art is valuable, impacting, and lasting. Indeed it’s likely that your art will outlast you.

Hug an artist today, share their work, share your art, give out virtual hugs to the folks you aren’t in proximity to hug.

Other references and some more images can be found below:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14097463_Suicide_Among_Artists

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/creativity-and-psychopathology-a-study-of-291-worldfamous-men/8153F46E0E6D222E2DC4FD936A8592DB

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2018/01/03/heres-what-the-evidence-shows-about-the-links-between-creativity-and-depression/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201204/little-weird-prone-depression-blame-your-creative-brain

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/17/people-artistic-professions-likely-commit-suicide-ons-study/

The images that I’ve posted along with this post, and at the bottom of this post, were images I had to start a seperate site for over on www.slightlyhungryartist.com to keep them separated from our site for being unrelated, too political, or having an opinion on anxiety, depression, or anything deemed a bit to on the line. I hope you enjoy them, I do.






Michael Reynolds