The Mentally Ill Artist: (Not like in the movies.)

How hard is it being a mentally ill artist?
The life of any artist is not easy.

A bipolar artist sneezing out masterpieces effortlessly.

The media, movies, and everybody else—they’re all unrealistic about the mentally ill...and mentally ill artists.

Unrealistic tropes

of gifted bipolar artists could line the walls of the Louvre. Their lives messy, but the art came easily. Masterpieces appear when they sneeze. They find success on accident or because they're sick.

We know it’s not true, but we nonetheless hear it often. These stereotypes fall far from reality.

Creative stuff isn't easy

whether you’re mentally ill or not. You need to develop raw passion just to scrape by… and there are no cheat code for creative success. Being bipolar doesn’t make it any easier.

My setbacks

are often low motivation, fatigue, headaches, side effects (shaky hands)… it all makes the job of drawing and managing an art business more difficult. Most of the time I just want to sit and stare.

Every artist has unique struggles though.

Art is a job

… especially now, when more and more artists sell own work directly. It’s involved... and it’s not easy business—especially if you don't have an MBA.

'The basics'

are most difficult. Things like leaving the house to mail art, show up for events, or to meet people. It’s all very challenging. I just want to sit inside and be quiet.

Managing my schedule is difficult too.. even when I have next to nothing going on. I never know when I’ll feel well enough to leave the house, or meet for an appointment. It’s hard to plan anything around my health.

Art is life

and life is hard. Many artists flourish, and some of them art bipolar. I do plan on making it… but it’s not like in the movies.
It’ll never be easy no matter how skillful, thoughtful, or energetic I am.

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