I'd say somewhere between Vincent Van Gogh, la Belle Epoque and the writings of Jack Kerouac, the myth of the modern artist was born. Remember the good old days, when artists were gainfully employed by a wealthy patron or better yet, ego crazed royalty who wanted to present a pretty face to the world. After all, it was due to the artistic license of Hans Holbien that Henry VIII chose wife #4, only to discover that in person Anne of Cleves looked more sow's ear than silk purse...or as Henry put it "a horse's arse" But I digress...
Yup, I wear a lot of black. Too much actually, but it makes deciding what to wear so much easier. I would not call myself depressed. Often boring. Always dull. But never depressed. The closest I get to anything bohemian is listening to Queen. I'm not intense but the prescription in my tri-focal lenses (oh the humiliation!!!) do make my eyes look a little odd. Regarding that starving artist connotation - been there, still there, don't see that ever changing. And as far as that talent thing...well, it's always come naturally. Looking back, I sometimes wish I had a degree to make those resumes look more impressive. Yet I know what my ability and knowledge is and I'm perfectly comfortable with the works I produce. On the roads I travel there is always something to learn, to see, to remember, to create.
Thinking about some of my friends, only one falls slightly into the myth area but she's not exactly destitute and her fashion sense is to die for. As a whole most of the artists I know are rather nondescript aside from their ability to create beautiful things.
I have never resided in a garret (or worn a beret, though if I did, it would be black) and I have never had the luxury of a studio. Shattering the myth even further, I find the most comfortable place to create is sitting crossed legged on the floor and most times it's on a dog bed with a greyhound curled up against my back. I seldom do formal sketching. My sketches looks like a 3 year olds doodles on a cocktail napkin and my sketchbooks are primarily used to write shopping lists. I do need to prepare if I'm working in watercolour but as far as pen & ink, I just grab my pen & a sheet of paper and go. When people ask me how I do the things I do, I'm lost for an answer. The art just happens.
CRIPE! I think I just made a statement.