Books like Bullying in the Arts: Vocation, Exploitation and Abuse of Power (Gower Publishing; 2011) describes the double-edged sword of having an artistic temperament -- you may produce works later labelled as "genius" but you also have mental illness and may wind up so lonely and miserable that you will kill yourself.
Although not all people with artistic temperaments are alike, some generalities can be made. Most people blessed/cursed with an artistic temperament display these ten qualities:
- Pursues a creative avenue, sometimes described as "having artistic inclinations"
- Prefers to work alone
- Shows or professes a love of nature
- Mood swings at unpredictable times
- Relationships with people have a low priority behind their work, their art and their own problems
- Although intelligent, they often aren't very wise in the practical ways of the world
- Swings between periods of tremendous energy and long periods of rest
- Is both introverted and extroverted, which basically means that they don't get on well with others
- Tries to be androgynous or blends characteristics of both genders without necessarily being gay
- Tries to be humble but deep down inside is really proud of their artwork.
The portrait of Vincent here is by John Peter Russell when Van Gogh lived in Paris in 1886. Van Gogh didn't like it, but this a great portrait of how the world saw Van Gogh -- as looking at them from the shadows with a sideways stare.