Friday, April 20, 2018

Impulsive Creativity of the ADHD Artist

February 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Ourselves, Success!

When you have ADHD, you often see things other people miss. When the neuro-typical (“normal”) person sees a wooden table, the ADHD’r sees:

  • the wood grain and imagines what part of the tree it came from
  • the surface scratches and tries to guess what caused them
  • the fact that the legs are not aligned with the lines in the floor tiles.

An art or design school student tries to develop these perspectives and how to effectively present them. The highly creative person often presents the ability to take distinct and recognizable pieces of information and join them in new ways. Entrepreneurs, engineers and inventors all depend on creativity, as do designers and artist. For someone with ADHD, these fields can make for good occupation choices.

A paper published for The National Research Center On The Gifted and Talented called “The Coincidence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity” reviewed the scientific literature available for both creativity research and ADHD research, and found striking parallels between the two. Analysis of brain structure showed strong similarities between the brains of ADHD’rs and those of the highly creative. Creative people seem to have weaker restraint mechanisms in their brains than normal people. Researchers in creativity hypothesize that this weak restraint mechanism allows many spontaneous thoughts to culminate in creative thought. ADHD researchers observed a similarly weak restraint mechanism (impulsivity anyone?) in the ADHD brain. They, however, consider this evidence as a neurological defect.

We have had a fascination with the ADHD artists of the world. Some time ago, we began collecting samples of art pieces produced by those with ADHD. Go to the Gallery by clicking here. If you would like to submit examples of your ADHD artwork, please email them to Please include the artist’s name, title of the work and any other details. Likewise, feel free to contact us with any questions.

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