It's accepted wisdom these days that artists are not the sanest people in the world.  If you don't know one personally, you can turn to several recent studies and popular articles for confirmation of that fact.  But recently researchers are theorizing that mental illness itself may have been preserved through evolution, in a specific gene that triggers both creative intelligence and madness.  An article in the New Scientist today explains. 

As if insanity weren't enough of a hurdle, artist Sean Scully talked to Big Think recently about the other struggles facing artists, particularly about the tension between arrogance and humility that successful artists must channel.  In a classic Big Think interview, Moby had a rosier view, theorizing that, for an artist, the only prerequisite of a happy life is to do what you love.