This article first appeared on – Written by Rich Swier

We have all heard the saying “tortured artist”. It’s a commonly used phrase to describe the frustrations an artist has with people who don’t quite understand them. This frustration typically leads to isolation, depression and many other expensive emotions. In my opinion, this stereotype doesn’t even scratch the surface of what a creative person lives day to day. This is why I am going to make my own label – “cursed creative”.

What is a Cursed Creative?

A cursed creative is an person who lives to create. It could be music, painting, writing, editing, design, acting or coding. There are hundreds of outlets for a creative to use to drive their passion. And the curse is… it’s never enough. There is no final piece of work. No final applause. There is only an appetite that is never satisfied.  Like a Vampire with better taste in clothes… is the life of a Cursed Creative.

When I first started working with creative minds, it was a challenge for me to understand what drives their passion (or more appropriately their hunger.)  I have done a lot of thinking on this matter, and here is what I have concluded:

Do they care about Money?

In short, no. A true creative wants to share with people around them the way they see the world. In many cases, they knowingly understand the profession they are entering doesn’t result in a big salary or a million-dollar payday. The irony to me, is that most of the richest people in the world are “creative” minds, that were either lucky enough to commercialize their vision at the right time, or were able to surround themselves with business-minded people to turn their talent into money. Either way, I know for sure money is not the root of why they are creative, and it certainly isn’t the motivation behind their passion.

Do they care about Fame?

Yes (but in a good way). We all appreciate someone’s desire to be famous. It’s natural for any person to want to be known and respected by thousands (or millions) of people around the world. It’s even more important for someone who creates something to share it with the world. Fame to a creative is more like acknowledgement. It is the assurance of sharing their creation… and not so much the red carpet “take pictures of me” fame. The only real exception is performers (actors) and musicians, because they personify their creativity. In some way they are the MOST cursed creatives, because their art is them. They don’t paint the art, they become the art.

So the obvious question is – why are many creatives still unhappy (or un-satisfied) after having success. Why do musicians who perform to thousands of fans screaming their lyrics, are still depressed backstage? Why do actors who perform lead roles in Oscar-winning films, still find themselves on the other side of a needle. The answer is not easy to comprehend or explain. It is simply a curse.

When you are a creative being… you are only fulfilled when you are creating. It is a never ending cycle. And no matter what you create – no matter how magnificent, popular or profitable – you will wake up the next day wanting more.

Of course, it’s not all bad. There are a few positives in being a creative. Here is a short list:

  1. You will experience life in a way no one else can comprehend
  2. You will change the lives of everyone who knows you by sharing your experiences through a creative outlet.
  3. You will change the world.


5 replies
  1. Morgrugyn
    Morgrugyn says:

    Was this written by a child? (genuine question)

    Every human is creative, and being an “artist” doesn’t mean someone can’t also be financially greedy, nor does it mean they must “suffer”

  2. Marwth
    Marwth says:

    “most of the richest people in the world are ‘creative’ minds,” Yes and no. If you mean the ones with a million to 100 million USD, yes. But the stats I saw on the Billionaires in the US is 30% inherited from family, 40% used inheritance from family to invest wisely in an industry, 20% came up from nowhere. I guess the 40% are fairly creative. Over in India and especially China, the figures are far more entrepreneurial, though usually of the wheeler dealer type. No one in China is a dynastic tycoon for obvious reasons. Princelings of cadres do well, but rarely reach the top.

  3. Brasoveanu Tedy
    Brasoveanu Tedy says:

    It is a little hard to be creative and live in this “logic” word, where everithing is white or black, but what all these logic people don’t realize is that maybe exist a grey, yellow or even a pink side of facts, or life. I choosed to not care what this kind of people say, and to be me instead.
    By the way i don’t know how someone can survive without imagination. :D

    • Raymmar Tirado
      Raymmar Tirado says:

      I agree completely. People have to quit trying to think that there is one way or the other to do something. Explore, create, tinker and dissect. All of it leads to enlightenment.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts


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