The Mind of the Artist: Personality and the Drive to Create

ISBN : 9780197611098

William Todd Schultz
208 ページ
140 x 210 mm

What is "the artist type"? How is an artist's mind structured? What are the links between creativity and mental health? Are there particular personality traits and psychological experiences that great artists have in common? Are most artists really mad? What defines the artist's personality? This book answers these questions by way of a deep, multi-angled, psychological analysis of the personality-based roots of creativity and the creative process. It draws on decades of scientific research focused on the central, mysterious trait of Openness, the true unifying glue behind everything creative. Featuring dozens of notable creators such as John Coltrane, Diane Arbus, Francesca Woodman, David Bowie, Frida Kahlo, Jack Kerouac, John Lennon, and others, this book showcases the nuances of an artist's mind beyond oversimplified formulas that falsely connect art to mental illness, painting a more authentic picture of the structure of the artist's psychology. Ultimately, this book reveals that the "torture" in an artist's perceived image has more to do with personality, creative processes, states of mind, and a need to express trauma symbolically, repeating it in the form of art. As an eminent psychobiographer with an award-winning career as a personality and creativity psychologist, Dr. William Todd Schultz yet again offers his unique perspective on a fascinating topic that is both engaging and insightful. In exploring the precise nature of inner chaos in a wide range of renowned artists, this book takes an enchanting dive into the artistic abyss for all those interested in creativity, personality, and psychology, including both general and academic readers.


Chapter 1: Traits, States, and Stories
Chapter 2: Trait-Based Origins of Creativity
Chapter 3: The Unifying Glue
Chapter 4: Chaos Rainbows
Chapter 5: Two Exemplary Creators: David Bowie and Frida Kahlo
Chapter 6: The Unhappiness Muse
Chapter 7: The Myth of the Mentally Ill Artist
Chapter 8: Art and Suicide


William Todd Schultz is an internationally recognized expert in psychobiographical research, personality psychology, and creativity, based at Pacific University. His work focuses on the origins of art and the intricacies of creative processes. Over the past two decades, he has authored and edited numerous articles, books, and chapters on several artists, including Oscar Wilde, David Bowie, Diane Arbus, Sylvia Plath, and others.