It is not uncommon to read about authors and artists in general having had a short lived life. I have read many explanations for this and would like to add one more perspective. The topic itself seems to be a dark one from any perspective.
Several departed authors I’ve read and studied had difficult or abusive childhoods. Many had struggles in life such as finances, health, failures and love gone wrong. A common speculation is the mental health of a writer being so poor that they end their own life. None of these seem unrealistic in the least. Looking at certain authors and artists alike it is not hard to see these paths in their lives.
I am sure it is no challenge to see an excellent writer take their own life, who had interlaced into their work dark and difficult tones. Some gruesome stories and poetry bring people to admiration for their beautiful imagery. This is not to say that the same fantastic work cannot be written by a happy and “mentally healthy” writer. Instead it is to show that a person in deep pain and despair can and do create unforgettable work.
Artist in all areas run into blocks of some sort or another lacking that inspiration or even way to express it, giving them frustration. Some lack the inspiration, waiting for it to once again slam into their lives. Others have creation on the tip of their tongue, paintbrush, fingertips or pens and keyboards.
I feel that each artist regardless of the time or energy they place in their art often struggle with producing something unique. That need to create something adds to the road block they suffer. Seeing a picture in your mind and then watching it develop can frustrate when you realize it looks a lot like something else you’ve seen or something you’ve already done. It is no secret that the unique and new are things that catch peoples eyes.
The artistry of the fashion world is no different. Each season clothing artists are pressured to produce “new” and “fresh”. Their success is based on their brand of course, but more importantly on those viewing their new line.
Businesses built on interior and exterior design and development are art forms all of their own. The business has to try to be ahead of the market trends. Unless the building owner specifically asks for a certain look or period of time in history design ie. the 50’s, these talents have to be fresh and progressive in style. Architecture, landscaping and concrete work are no different in market demand.
Web based designs are build on frame work. A person wanting something fresh and new to their site or in building their site are looking for an artist. Although the method may be completely different whereas the medium is most often intangible, there is still interaction within the site by a person creating and shaping user interactions.
Of course not every early artist’s death comes from the stresses and rigors of their art. It is also wrong to conclude that artists who produce light and fluffy happy art are therefore happy and mentally healthy people.
Okay Shy, what is the point?
What about those artists who have the picture in their head? What about the authors that have the characters in their head and a basic direction for their writing yet struggle to get it out in print the way they see and feel it? What about those designers who design the most incredible work but find that their life and career are changed by one design that went unnoticed by those they were trying to reach?
There are still those many reasons an artist can reach a roadblock that they cannot recover from. One of my favorite famous writers likes to stress to the world that you have to set your goals as an individual not based on the successes of those around and ahead of you.
It could be possible that failure was the reason an artist could not move forward, we know that for a few this is true. How often we find the work of these lost people absolutely stunning and invaluable to the world going forward. If only they knew the impact their art would have on society.
Perhaps it was the inability to express the brilliance they had in their mind that brought them to their own destruction. All too often I find that I had a picture in my mind of what I want to write, only to find that when I sit down those same words do not come in the correct order. Those words do not tend to come from the same passion they had when they were initially felt and seen. This is utter frustration and disappointment in myself. The feeling of failure certainly floods my mind, which in turn I believe interrupts work that I do shortly after the loss. Although I am not in any way in a place in my life that my art has driven me mad, I can say that on a small scale I believe I understand.
Although there are many ways to see the roadblocks a person encounters the effects of it certainly effect individuals differently. Whether it is art which in the artists perspective fails or has a lack of inspiration, or the inability to make their art tangible in one way or another, there is certainly no doubt that the passion of an artist can also be their undoing.