The "artistic personality" as described by psychologists and by artists
Vennema, Michelle C.
Wann, T. W.
Master of Arts
The review of the literature concerning the "artistic personality" seemed to indicate a rather limited methodology, being mostly of a questionnaire nature. The study reported on here focused on the description of the artist offered by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jacob W. Getzels (1973) in their paper on the personality of the young artist. Their description focused on six-factors from the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire. An interview schedule was constructed around these six-factors. Taped interviews were then conducted with twenty working artists using the interview schedule; there was no time limit set for the interviews. The results show that the artists interviewed tended to disagree with the description of them as outlined by the six-factors. Further, the results show that even where a majority of the artists held to a similar opinion, whether it was an opinion of agreement with Getzels et al. or one of disagreement, there was little internal cohesiveness in the reasons given for holding the opinion. Thus, another personality profile for the artist does not seem indicated. The results indicate that the use of any kind of limited test or profile would be inadequate in describing the artistic personality.