Being Creative Increases Your Risk Of Schizophrenia By 90 Percent

From van Gogh and Beethoven to Darwin and Plath, the number of creative geniuses that have suffered from mental health issues has long sparked the debate – is there a tie between creativity and mental health? Well, according to a new study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry there is, as creatives are more likely to suffer from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression than the rest of the population.

Previous research has often been limited due to issues like small samples sizes, however, this new study looked at the health records of the whole of Sweden – providing a sample of almost 4.5 million people. The researchers then took into account whether these people studied an artistic subject – like music or drama – at university.

Strangely enough, those with artsy degrees were 90 percent more likely to be hospitalized for schizophrenia than their less creative counterparts. The hospitalizations were most likely to happen at some point during their 30s.

What’s more, artists were 62 percent more likely to be admitted to hospital due to bipolar disorder and 39 percent more likely to go to hospital for depression. The researchers determined that it wasn’t simply the act of going to university that affected mental health, as those with law degrees did not have higher rates of these illnesses than the general population. Variables like IQ were also taken into account.

This is not the first study to find a link between mental health and creativity. For example, in 2010 brain scans revealed similarities between the thought pathways of schizophrenics and very creative people. Meanwhile, a 2015 study found that creative people have a raised risk of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, a 2012 study found that just writers are at a higher risk.

So why does this connection exist?

Well, it’s still not really clear. It could be that creative people are more likely to think deeply and be emotionally unstable, making them more vulnerable to conditions like depression. Meanwhile, bouts of productivity and high energy are linked to both creativity and bipolar disorder. Lead author James McCabe told New Scientistthat the genetics behind creativity might also influence mental health.

“Creativity often involves linking ideas or concepts in ways that other people wouldn’t think of,” he told New Scientist. “But that’s similar to how delusions work – for example, seeing a connection between the color of someone’s clothes and being part of an MI5 conspiracy.”

However, while creative people are naturally more likely to study art subjects, many creative people do not, so the new study is limited in that it used degree subject as the sole measure of creativity.

However, taking previous research into account too, there does appear to be some sort of link. Still, it’s important to remember that the rates of conditions like schizophrenia are still very low even among creative people, so if you are an artist yourself, there’s no need to worry.

[“Source-iflscience”]

Digitas names regional creative leaders

Matt Cullen & Gary Tranter

In case you missed it, Digitas reverted to its original name this week, keeping the unicorn but dropping the LBi after 5 years.

Kingsley Taylor, formerly MD of Organic San Francisco, also assumed the same role at the network’s Bay Area office.

Now the shop has promoted Mike Frease to EVP, ECD in Chicago, where he had been SVP, GCD. At the same time, Morgan Carroll’s role has evolved from managing director, ECD to MD and executive creative chair.

The two will lead the creative team in Chicago moving forward.

“Mike has partnered with our clients to create iconic and award-winning campaigns. The results have been extraordinary—our Gold Lions, Pencils, Effies, and Grands Prix are proof of that,” said Carroll, who got promoted in summer of 2016. “More importantly, the work has embodied our commitment to combine creativity, technology, and data in ways that no other agency can.”

Frease had formerly led the agency’s work for Whirlpool, including the Maytag, KitchenAid and Jenn-Air brands. He joined the agency in 2014 after holding top roles at other Chicago shops including Leo Burnett, JWT and FCB.

The client’s “Care Counts” campaign won 38 medals at Cannes last year, and it also scored Adweek’s top honors for creative innovation.

[“Source-campaignasia”]

A quirky workspace for a creative workforce at Wieden+Kennedy’s

Pichwai-style illustrations of Wieden+Kennedy staff by artist Mahendra Kumar. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint.

Pichwai-style illustrations of Wieden+Kennedy staff by artist Mahendra Kumar. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Wearing a bright maroon printed dress and white Nikes, Sarina Grewal, 25, looks extremely comfortable sitting on the carpet in her office, talking animatedly to her colleague, Akhil Thakur, about a new design they are working on. Grewal and Thakur can often be found working together in the library area—even if it means sitting on the floor—to escape the noise and chatter near their desks. This jells well with the casual comfort vibe of Wieden+Kennedy’s (W+K’s) Delhi office. “I joined right after college because I didn’t want to waste time. This place made me want to stick around. It has been three years already!” says Grewal, an art director at the creative agency.

The mascot : The vibrant office in Saket, Delhi, is quite a hit. “I have often seen random people walking past and pointing out to the red horse at the entrance of our office. As a matter of fact, the red horse is the most popular selfie destination too,” she laughs. It has turned into a sort of mascot for the office, with official paraphernalia like coasters and tote bags bearing its picture.

Employees play a video game. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Employees play a video game. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

This is not the only thing that makes the Delhi office stand out. On one side of the lounge is a ceiling full of illustrations. “These are all illustrations of my colleagues. When someone joins, we get their photos clicked, send it to a Pichwai artist, Mahendra Kumar in Ajmer, and get these illustrations made. It is a W+K tradition,” she says. The entrance also has a wall to showcase exemplary art/creative work by employees. For now, it also serves as a noticeboard announcing the next movie for their Thursday movie evenings.

“We have these fun things every week. Our Amsterdam office has wine Thursdays, so we decided to do movies instead. Some days we are at work till 2-3am and these things help us to de-stress,” adds Grewal.

Sarina Grewal next to a red horse that is a selfie magnet. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Sarina Grewal next to a red horse that is a selfie magnet. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The nomadic life: The W+K office is flexible about who sits where. By lunchtime, Grewal says, most people are sitting somewhere other than their usual seats, discussing projects. A round table near her work desk serves as an informal meeting space, as do couches in the lounge-cum-library area. The library is the most popular venue though, both for meetings and video-game sessions.

The studio has recently moved to the main office space. This, Grewal believes, is less alienating for the people working on the final product. The erstwhile studio is right opposite the main entrance, with a large Make In India lion standing proudly within. Make In India was one of the campaigns W+K worked on. Around the office are signs of other campaigns—posters from Nike’s last print campaign and miniature IndiGo aeroplane models.

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The thinking spot: The library houses magazines and books on design and art. There are a few yearbooks as well. A table next to it serves as a standing desk—its height is adjustable. There are witty posters too. One such poster declares, “Be mediocre. You will sleep better.”

“The office is always very casual. You will see us joking and laughing. But then again, everyone here is passionate about the brands they get to handle. Which makes it a wonderful place to begin your career with,” Grewal says.

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

The Work Tour is a series which looks at how people are engaging with office design and how it impacts their productivity and positivity at work.

[“Source-livemint”]

Ramakrishnan Hariharan joins Publicis India as creative head

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MUMBAI: Publicis India has strengthened its creative function with the appointment of Ramakrishnan Hariharan as the head of creative. Ram, as he is fondly known by his peers, will be based out of Mumbai and will report to Publicis India MD and CCO – South Asia Bobby Pawar.

As the creative head of Mumbai, Ram will manage and lend his creative know-how on some notable brands of the agency including Zee, Lakme, HDFC MF, Skoda, Citibank, etc. He will work closely with the teams and the leadership and assist in carving out a unique creative identity for the brands that he will manage.

Commenting on the appointment, Bobby Pawar says, “Creatively, the Mumbai office has been on a roll for a while, with great work on Ambuja Cement, Nerolac, HDFC Mutual Funds, Skoda, Zee and more. Ram comes to bat at the right time. He is not just a great creative guy who is adept at traditional and non-traditional ideas, he is also the kind of leader people rally behind. I am sure he will help us raise our game a few notches.”

Ram joins Publicis from Ogilvy India where he was the senior creative director.

A creative veteran with an enviable experience spanning more than 18 years, Ram has been associated with some key brands across multiple agencies in India. His most notable works include launch of Savlon antiseptic range and JSW Cement, campaigns for Amazon devices including Kindle and FireTV Stick, Taj Mahal Tea, etc. Prior to Ogilvy, Ram has also been associated with Lowe Lintas, Everest Brand Solutions, Leo Burnett, Vyas Gianetti Creative etc.

Welcoming Ram on board, Publicis India managing director Srija Chatterjee adds, “Ram has been the face behind some memorable campaigns in the recent past, and it will be great to see him bring that creative spark across most of our work at Publicis. We are certain that under his leadership, the teams will imbibe a great creative culture and churn out an enviable body of work that will end up winning multiple laurels. We welcome him to the agency and look forward to seeing some great work from him soon.”

Sharing his views on joining the agency, Ram said says, “Publicis has done some outstanding work in the past and is truly geared for more success. Bobby is like a mentor to me, and I am fortunate to work closely with him in shaping up the creative culture here. We have clients who believe in us and a robust brand-planning and account-management team driving those businesses. What more can a creative person ask for.”

Ram is no stranger to awards and many of his works have gone on to win top honours across prominent award shows. He has been the recipient of many awards across festivals like Abby Awards, Clio Awards, Cannes Lions, Adfest, Goafest, Kyoorius Awards, Effie India, D&AD, One Show, Spikes Asia etc.

[“Source-indiantelevision”]