‘Artist suffer to produce art’ was the opening premise of my post yesterday. Somehow the creative process is one of “cracking your skull open” or “putting your sweat and blood into it.” “Tortured artist” even gets a page on Wikipedia, and is linked to the similar ‘poète maudit,’ the bad-boy artist who is against the establishment. In a way, societies finds tortured artistic personalities moving in the most Romantic way, because they feel a deep connection to this other person.
Making art is suffering as much as making anything else is. It could take the same amount of work, in terms of energy expelled and time, to make a table as a painting. Going to work is often not fun, but do I really get to claim that I suffer as I email and answer the phone? Running on a treadmill might be considered suffering, but nobody will idolize your soul over it.
Also, don’t happy people create, and why shouldn’t they create good art? Leonardo is generally upheld as a great artist. He is also widely considered a brilliant thinker–yet he didn’t brood over his canvases. Hell, he could hardly be coerced to finish them once he had sketched them out, much less pour a troubled soul into them.