The Freud gene – being inspired


The 2nd of January, I was trying to get my act back together after a longer than usual vacation (as in longer than 2 days). After a week of practically not doing anything, excluding reading, I felt I should start doing something productive. “New year, new me” they say, so I decided it should be a change. No matter how mainstream that sounds. After 5 minutes of thinking, that felt longer than ever, I went for reorganizing my inspiration wall, meaning simply clipping brand new photos from my favourite or less favourite magazines and filling them with motivational or demotivational quotations of my choice, to my pinboard. Sounds as simple as it could never possibly be.

As a professional hipster, I started going page by page through the February 2012 issue of the British Vogue. On one of these pages, to be precise p.133 there was a sketch that particularly caught my attention. A simple drawing of a girl, wtih pretty, curly hair, covering half of her face with a leaf. The other half of her face, her eye was what looked so unusual to me. There was something in that eye. Something in between fear and tragism. I looked up the author: Lucian Freud. I felt like there’s nothing more right to do at that moment, than to read the article attached to the sketch and then continue with the painter’s biography. My feeling was more on point than ever.

I found out about a magnificent man. Like in Lana Del Rey’s songs. “Charismatic, magnetic, electric”. I found out about Sigmund Freud’s grandchild, which to me: a girl particularly interested in psychology in philosophy, meant a world. I also found out about a real genius, a brilliant artist, a terrible driver and a neighbour of Jean Paul Sartre. Yes, I’m still talking about the same person. Lucian Freud.

He painted people. Is that special? No. Many artists paint people. People as in objects, showing a person as a representative of the human race. This is not what Freud did. He was that one painter who didn’t only reflect feelings in his work, but could recognize feelings in other people and understood them. Those, who had the honour of being close to him say he had piercing eyes, it felt like being X-rayed when being looked at by him. And that’s where I can get to the point.

Somehow he took what’s best from his grandpa Sigmund, but used it in a completely different way. Something I’m going to call the Freud gene, made him the artist he were. Sigmund Freud came up with psychoanalysis and Lucian Freud was the one who could close this whole system in a painting. Both of them, of course, were geniuses, but in a completely different way. And that’s what fascinates me.

It’s the intuition that brought both of them to the success in their art (psychology is art too), and intuition is what I think makes the essence of the Freud gene. It would be absolutely normal if Lucian became a psychologist and I think that’s what he partly did. Except he used his psychological skills in an innovational way. That’s what makes him my new greatest inspiration.

I think there’s a bit of this Freud gene in each one of us, not as in being related to any of the Freuds. As in having this absolutely amazing, brilliant skill of doing things in an innovational way and making art. I think every one of us is capable of making art. Art in a Seth Godin’s way.

Those people online were right. New year, new me. Me appreciating my skills. Me using them. Me posting this despite it not making even a bit of sense. How about you?

Post icon: “Girl with Fig Leaf” by Lucian Freud; source:

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