Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: All courses at all locations are available as live online classes. Limited in-person classes in some locations. Our offices remain open. Learn more.


Adobe Creative Cloud users going crazy

  • Published on June 11, 2015
Adobe Creative Cloud users going crazy

A new study links those working in creative professions with an increased likelihood of mental illness. While a stereotype has often followed those who are creative, and it has been amplified by well-known artists such as Van Gough, until now there had been no established link between creative individuals and mental health. This new study suggests that creative people think differently because of their genetic composition, and that there is a link between being creative and mental health problems.

The study found that the genetic composition of creative professionals tends to carry with it an increased risk of both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This was found in those working in creative fields, ranging from painters to musicians and even dancers. Overall, those working in creative fields had a 25% greater chance of carrying a genetic variants when compared to adults working in less creative fields, such as working in a manual labor job or as a farmer.

The study was recently published in the journal Nature Neuroscience and involved information taken from more than 86,000 people in Iceland in order to locate genetic variations which increased the risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. When looking at those who were members of national arts societies, there was a 17% greater chance of carrying these variations when compared to the general population of non-artists. Checking a separate database in the Netherlands, the study’s authors found that individuals working in creative fields, or who were otherwise identified as being creative, had a 25% increased risk of death.

The people who use Adobe Creative Cloud tend to be creative, and appear to fit perfectly within the definition of those included in this study. Adobe even labels their customers as creative professionals, and in our Creative Cloud classes and Adobe courses, the vast majority of users are creative professionals such as artists and designers. Yet before thinking that using Adobe’s Creative Cloud is going to drive you crazy, it’s useful to understand that this link is far from proven. The primary author of the study indicated that any genetic differences they discovered that may make a person more creative are miniscule, and there may be other genetic or environmental factors that contribute to creativity.

While those who produced the study believe it to be a good starting point for uncovering the genetics of creativity, a number of academics are less convinced of the link. They view high-profile cases of artists with mental illness as simply a correlation.

We have another theory. Creative professionals are more likely to be drive crazy by Adobe Creative Cloud crashing unexpectedly, having to continually pay to use the apps month after month, or the license not working because Adobe’s servers aren’t working.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.