Using your inner darkness for the sake of art

Dark things lie in each of us. They are always there behind our eyes. Taking everything in. Take that darkness and use it.


There are few things that truly scare me!

Among them are losing my kids or my wife and spiders. So I am able to read books, watch movies, TV shows without much thought about them scaring me.

But there is something else that scares me, something we all have lying underneath the surface. We see it on the news at least once a week, “Man kills wife and kids then self and leaves no note” or “Man kills three people in a park” the times when our inner self is exposed. We all have that little bit of evil in us.

Whether it is the enjoyment we get from movies like “Saw” or “Hostel” or other “Torture Porn”. These things are all feeding our darker self. The one that tells us we could rob a bank and get away with it. The same one that tells us some people deserve to die.

Your inner psychopath

There are times when we all have that rush, that I could do anything type feeling. I am not talking about drug induced hysterics, I am talking about that time when we are staring at life and we hate it, we hate everything about it and believe that we could get away with whatever we think of. This is your inner psychopath, welcome to their world!

This inner voice, yes voice, is the one that all serial killers listen to. It is the one that all mass murderers listen to, and use as justification for an insanity defense. There are few out there that can get away with that defense. They are–but may include others–the following: those with proven multiple personality, schizophrenics.

It is not these people that should scare any of us, because with the right medication and psychological care they can be normal citizens. The other people, the serial killers, the mass murderers, those are the ones, the ones who listen to that voice in their head that tells them they are doing the right thing.

Dexter Morgan calls his the “Dark Passenger”. Patrick Bateman from “American Psycho” does not really have name for his he just really enjoys the act of killing things. It is a rush, the kind of rush that can only come from doing what he does.

Using your inner psychopath

I am not saying go out and kill someone. I am talking about using that darker self to an advantage. There are times in art and in life when we want to say something profound.

I mean like Picasso using his skills to paint Guernica:

Picasso's Guernica

This painting was used as a statement in response to the bombing of the town for which it is named by German and Italian warplanes during the Spanish Civil war. It is an amazing piece of the darkness of war.

This darkness is available to each and every one of us every day. For artists, whether you paint, act, write or otherwise perform harnessing this darkness and using it is invaluable.

The movie “Black Swan” is a perfect example of this. If you haven’t seen it, go out and rent it, buy it or whatever. It is the ultimate depiction of an artist harnessing their darker side for the good of their art. At first I really didn’t want to see it, ballet, dancing, all of that. But when I started watching and seeing the story and the way it was played, I was enthralled and amazed.

I have never met an artist who had a good childhood, or many other people for that matter. It is using the darkness that we felt as children, the times when our parents disciplined us much too severely. The times when other things happened to us, when we saw something we shouldn’t have or did something we shouldn’t have.

Those are the times, those are the places you pull the darkness from and push it in to your art. Feeling that darkness surround you and put it on the page, in the performance, the painting or the music. Use it because it is still there in your mind haunting you every day. Your inner psychopath is there if you only wake it up when you are doing your art.


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