A Qualitative Study on the Effects of Psychoactive Substance use upon Artistic Creativity

Fruzsina Iszaj, Bea Ehmann, Mark D. Griffiths, Z. Demetrovics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Psychoactive substance use has often been claimed to help generate and facilitate the artistic creative process. Aims: This study explored the role of artists' substance use in their creative processes and their efforts to balance between enhancement and relaxation. Methods: Semistructured interviews concerning the artistic creative process and the role of psychoactive substance use were recorded with 72 artists and analyzed using content analysis. The participants were classified according to their substance use in three groups (Cannabis Group, Alcohol Group, and Control Group). Results: Results show that both alcohol and cannabis were used to facilitate creativity and the emotional states that are necessary for the artistic creative process. Participants in the Control group reported that listening to music might function as a mind-altering tool. It was also found that for some artists, substance use is not only characteristic to creation, but it is also part of their everyday lives. Conclusion: Artists are aware of the balancing phenomenon during the artistic creative process. Whether psychoactive substance(s) or other environmental stimuli (such as music) are used to reach the required effect appears to depend upon the individual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Nov 20 2017

Fingerprint

Creativity
Cannabis
Music
creativity
Alcohols
artist
Control Groups
Group
Interviews
music
alcohol
everyday life
content analysis
stimulus
interview

Keywords

  • alcohol
  • artist
  • cannabis
  • Creativity
  • music
  • psychoactive substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

A Qualitative Study on the Effects of Psychoactive Substance use upon Artistic Creativity. / Iszaj, Fruzsina; Ehmann, Bea; Griffiths, Mark D.; Demetrovics, Z.

In: Substance Use and Misuse, 20.11.2017, p. 1-6.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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