Who are you calling normal?

by Esther Emery

Joking aside, I think it’s pretty common for artists of all kinds to think of ourselves as something other than normal. Some days we’re awake and we know that normal is a construction of the mind, not a factual state of existence. Other days we’re a little more foggy and we hold on tight to our “Not Normal” status, not realizing that the more we claim to be outsiders, the more we reinforce that boundary that embraces the status quo.

I’m interested in the perception that great artists are at some level dysfunctional members of society. I’m interested in how that perception can cause artists to pigeonhole ourselves, as if we don’t have enough folks doing that for us.  

Have you ever heard yourself say, “I can’t go to bed early/stop drinking/start drinking/call my mom/eat peanut butter and jelly/eat anything but peanut butter and jelly/hold down a job/remember to water the plants because I’m an artist?”