Monday, April 30, 2012

Artists are Introverts! Discuss...

More than three quarters of artists are introverts is the very significant finding of the Making A Mark Poll for April (see Artists - Are you an introvert or an extrovert?)

Chart of responses to Making A Park Poll (April 2012)
Those taking the poll where asked to take Susan Cain's quick quiz first - the Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?  This helps you to find out whether you tend more towards introversion or extroversion.

Of 138 people who responded to the Poll the results were as follows:
  • 61% are introverts
  • 18% are very introverted
  • 16% are ambiverts (able to relate to both introversion and extroversion)
I know I was fully expecting a strong lean towards introversion but not as much as that!

The number who thought they were extroverts was tiny - just 4% of the total poll.

To give this some context, the percentage of the population at large who are introverts is reckoned to be only 25%.  So a result which says 75%+ of the artists answering the poll are introverts seems to me to be a pretty significant result.

I think that makes Introverts the "In Crowd"!

What is an Introvert?

What are the characteristics of an introverted personality - and how do these relate to being an artist?  Here's my list - maybe you can add to it?

The bonuses of being introverted for artists
  • take pleasure in solitary activities - like painting
  • like working on their own - week after week, month after month, year after year
  • not dependent on the company of others
  • no need to verbalise - able to express their thoughts and feelings through their art
  • much happier with one on one situations (such as when painting a portrait)
  • happy to talk about what interests them
  • capacity for long periods of focused attention (on creating art)
  • motivation and energy comes from an inner world and internal direction
  • usually not interested in following trends - tendency to tread their own path
  • good at reflection - work requires thinking time
  • enjoyment from solving problems and puzzles
  • happy at home or communing with nature
The downside of being an Introverted Artist
  • not very interested in or good at small talk at Private Views (Lucian Freud never went to his own Private Views)
  • marketing (outward facing/people oriented) can seem like a real challenge for some
  • communication with those people who sell your work can be difficult at times
  • introverts don't follow the crowd - they don't even want to part of a crowd!
Would you care to elaborate and add in your own perspective on the characteristics of the Introverted Artist?