The Art Articles by Louis Martins (Photographer, Film Producer and Poet)

April 28, 2014  •  Leave a Comment


Over the coming months I will be publishing a series of short articles. Each article will focus on a different element of the work of artists and creative types. In the first article in this series I talk about the different types of artists, but in particular, 'The Broken Artist'. I hope you enjoy the article.

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Figure in Long GrassFigure in Long GrassSurrealism Photography by Louis Martins

The Broken Artist by Louis Martins

 “What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music.... And people flock around the poet and say: 'Sing again soon' - that is, 'May new sufferings torment your soul but your lips be fashioned as before, for the cry would only frighten us, but the music, that is blissful.”

- Søren Kierkegaard


Artists have been revered throughout history for the wonderful creations they have brought into the world. I myself have sympathy with all artists as I understand what it takes to create something from nothing. During the last few years I have met and spoken in depth with various artists from different fields. During these conversations I realised that some artists are born with knowledge of their talent, it comes to them from an early age, they have the right environment during childhood to identify their talent and focus their lives on it. But this isn’t the case for all artists; ‘The Broken Artist’ is another category of artist I will now explain.


For ‘The Broken Artist’, the art they produce comes from a dark and damaged place in their soul. To truly understand such an artist you need to know one thing, their creations evolve as a result of some kind of emotional trauma, some damaging event in life that left a series of scars on their heart and soul. The damaging experiences leave broken pieces within them, in their moments of creativity those damaged parts act like pieces of a puzzle, a puzzle that only the artist can complete, as only they know where the pieces came from and how they relate to each other.


All ‘Broken Artists’ are born with an extreme creativity woven into their DNA. It’s as if a seed was planted at birth in the garden of their mind. However, the seed doesn’t necessarily grow by default, unlike the artist who understands their creative side from an early age. For ‘The Broken Artist’ it’s more the case that during the course of their life they will have experiences that provoke the seed to start sprouting roots. I’m not sure why this type of artist needs trauma to uncover their ability, perhaps during their youth something happens to them psychologically that inhibits the growth of this side of their character. This may explain why ‘The Broken Artist’ requires a traumatic experience to awaken this part of their soul, as their inner artist remains hidden away in a deep dark corner of their subconscious. In the darker moments of adulthood, when the walls are closing in, when they’re alone and struggling to come to terms with their place in the world, at those moments they stumble upon that hidden part of their soul, and then the beautiful relationship with their inner artist can begin.


The broken pieces that lay scattered inside them come together slowly over time, they are the building blocks of their new life, their life as an artist, and that is why ‘The Broken Artist’ will always have a sense of darkness and tragedy woven into their work. Their creativity was born in those circumstances, so it is inevitable that those darker themes will be a recurring feature of their work.


Louis Martins | Photographer, Film Producer and Poet


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