What is a highly sensitive creative?

As a creative, I’ve been told since I was a child that I think too much and I’m too sensitive. If I wasn’t playing outside or watching Olsen twins movies with my sister, I was reading. As I got older, I learned that I was not only introverted but an empath. My high school had almost 4,000 students roaming its halls. I picked up on the emotions of my peers, unaware that the overwhelming emotions I felt weren’t entirely mine.

 When I developed depression and anxiety, I thought I had done something wrong. I used writing and visual art to express my intense feelings, but no one seemed to understand. They thought I was strange and maybe even a little screwed up. It wasn’t until I found like-minded creatives that I finally understood my weaknesses were also my biggest strengths.

After years of trying to dull my intensity, I found a community of people who liked me just the way I am. They used words like highly-sensitive (HSP), highly-intuitive, and empath. It sounded hippy-dippy and bizarre at times, but it described me perfectly.

  • sounds may be louder
  • lights may be brighter
  • smells may be unusually strong
  • violent mass media usually deeply affects us
  • feelings are experienced deep within our core

Highly-sensitive creatives & health

Art by J. Lavallee

I learned that because highly-sensitive creatives have an increased sensitivity and higher intuition, we often become overwhelmed. We may feel unable to cope with all the signs and emotions we pick up on.

To put it simply, our minds do not filter out as many signals as the average person. We notice things even if we don’t want to. We have powerful minds that we may need to grow into.

Expressing ourselves creatives help us cope. It can be hard, especially in a culture that encourages us to hide our feelings, but there’s nothing wrong with us. Highly-sensitive creatives are individuals who use art to cope with their intense feelings.


As highly-sensitive creatives, our sensitive traits are usually our best asset. #HSP #empath Click To Tweet

That’s why I created Survival is a Talent, a digital community for highly-sensitive creatives to build each other up through discussion and support.

HUGE thanks to Abby Whittredge, Daniel Watts, and Emily Deibler for supporting this blog!


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