Bipolar Disorder and the Creative Process in Visual Artists
Date of Award
Restricted Access Thesis
College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences
Erin Mueller, PhD
This study examined four individuals who are considered artistically inclined in the area of visual arts. These individuals were determined as creative based upon their self-declaration of an artistic temperament, the presence of products of creativity through visual arts, and frequent artistic expression through the visual arts. This is a qualitative study that relies on an in-depth examination of four males between the ages 20-40 years old, who express their artistic temperament through the visual arts. Two of the subjects were diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and two were not. The artistic expression and creative tendencies of all four of these individuals was studied over a period of time through the use of interview and questionnaire. These two instruments provided facts about the four participants’ artistic expression through the visual arts and allowed me to draw conclusions about the presence of the creative process and artistic productivity. Through this case study of four visual artists, differences were found in the creative process of the individuals who had Bipolar and the participants who did not. There was also evidence that there were similarities amongst all four of the artists in the case study, and all four stages of the creative process were represented in all four participants.