Extraverts and Introverts and Crazy Artists

Why are artists always portrayed as eccentrics? Are people drawn to the archetype of the crazy artist – sensitive, touched, otherwise unhinged – by the flamboyance of some, or is there a more mundane reason why writers and artists and actors all seem to be painted as odd?

If we accept the premise of introverts and extroverts, that one group flourishes in solitude and the other in company, this explains the artist-as-wacky-eccentric in both ways.

Introverts, being naturally reclusive, are happiest on their own. When an introvert artist has a gallery show, the opening night – all those strangers, begging to tell you how fabulous you are, or asking you about the inspiration for this piece, or that title – must be fraught with tension. Crowds unsettle this artist. They were nervous to start with, and the addition of the acclaim or otherwise of other people reacting to their art is hard enough. So the artist becomes nervous, fractious, voluble, effusive, burbling, anything, just please-let-me-back-into-the-studio behaviour.

The one thing the world will never have enough of is the outrageous...

“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” ― Salvador Dalí


Extroverts, on the other hand, are happiest surrounded by people. The extrovert artist struggles to lock themselves away in a room or studio to create their body of work.  When they hold a gallery opening, the same trepidation of will-they-like-it is there, but it’s overwhelmed by the extravert’s natural eagerness to talk to people. Crowds fascinate this artist. They’re nervous, of course, but they engage with others, are encouraged to enter into expansive gestures, flamboyant, thank-the-gods-I-finally-get-out-the-studio behaviour.


Your thoughts?

Published in: on June 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm  Comments (3)  
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  1. I think your observations are spot-on. After concerts and recitals, I hated cocktail parties and chinwags and all of that. My mother, in some misguided attempt to show me off, used to make me play as a kid and I loathed that. I started saying intemperate things deliberately, when she had her ecumenical high teas (I called the Anglican Priest’s religion, something on the order of Catholic Lite.) Eventually, I got my way. I love to play, but not on command. I’m not Haydn. Oh, how I do run on.

    Anyway, there are very definitely extroverts in the arts and they’re not only in painting. The worst thing in the world is the idiot who stands backstage and plays every violin concerto he learned in uni at fortississimo, as he “warms up.” I want to sneak up behind him and hit him with a chair. No one cares. We can all do it. I was playing the Bartok viola concerto once; I had a stand partner who was eleventy-billion years old, he looked at me and said “you play too many notes.” He had retired from the 2nd violin section of the Cleveland Orchestra, I thought, WTF?

    Anyway, I nominated you for a couple of blog awards on my blog post today. Please go here for the rules and the blog badge(s) and rules, which are not hard and fast.


    Take the award that is appropriate, or use both accordingly.

    Liebster – for 200 followers or less
    Very Inspiring Blogger Award – for all of the nominees.

    Mary aka ViolaFury

    June 16, 2013

    P.S. Some really stunning new pictures!

    • Wow! Thanks! I am touched, really (and not in the Biblical sense). It might take me a wee while to get over this (then again, maybe not, heheh). No, really, this is lovely, thank you. I’ll come up with my response when I’ve got over myself 😉

  2. […] since the last report: Eat More Chips, Tell me what I should read, Poem: Summer Drum and Extraverts & Introverts & Crazy Artists. In keeping with the guidelines, these will be considered milestones on the achievements […]

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