Creative People who have ADD
Robert Toth – "How I turned it around"

By: Bob Seay

"Artistic creativity is a whirlpool of imagination that swirls in the depth of the mind."  - Robert Toth

You meet some interesting people on the Internet. For example, I’m sitting at my computer at about 1 AM, and I get an email:

I am an ADD person who has turned it around. See my site. Thank you for your comments. Robert Toth – Artist
The Subject Line read "Great Site!".  I wasn’t sure if it was my website that was great, or his own. So I decided to take a look.

Then it was obvious – Robert Toth is the one with the great website.    Not only is his web site impressive, so are his accomplishments. His art has been purchased by the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh, Scotland; the Smithsonian Institute National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; and several other major collections. The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; MGM Studios, Hollywood, California and the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have each commissioned works by Robert Toth.

Toth works primarily in paint and bronze, although his website shows other media as well. The busts and sculptures have certain nobility about them – so much so that many have been presented as awards. The Einstein Award was presented to the National Foundation for Gifted and Creative Children.

By the way, have you ever noticed the similarities between the characteristics of gifted/creative children and the behaviors of people who have ADD?

Just wondering…

The Ben Franklin Award goes to screenwriters at the Greater Columbus Film Festival in Ohio. Edison has gone to inventive & creative people like – Dr. E. Paul Torrance "The Creativity Man."

Notice any pattern to these men? All of them are brilliant, all are examples of excellence.
And all of them would qualify as ADD.

Toth was diagnosed as ADD in fourth grade, and says that his schoolboy days were "very sad." However he adds that "My Art helped me to cope." No doubt that Robert spent a lot of time in class being "off task" and unproductive. Just as most ADD kids do. And no doubt he was told "to stop that drawing and get back to work."

Fortunately for us, he did get back to work – back to the work of creating art.

"My early consciousness was doing what I was born to do."

Like many of us, Toth sought for and found some focus. For him, it was his art that provided an anchor.

"There was no ADD when I was working towards order."

"Attention to detail evolved from the sensitivity of disorder."

But what about that detail? Typically, when we think of ADD, we don’t think of attention to detail. At some point, the artist has to become a craftsman, one who is able to transform the vision in his mind into something tangible. How do you make that transition from the "idea" to the "reality"?

"You can’t start with a finish – you start with the love of doing. Learning to like the procedure comes from the love of the subject and is enriched by the natural growth out of the need."

"In the middle of a problem lies opportunity", said Einstein. "I agree that our knowledge stems from the problems and are enriched by them."

Is ADD a "Disorder" in the life of Robert Toth?

"ADD is still with me only when I am not doing what I want. Through Reason I have learned that I must do what I have to do in order to be able to do what I want to do. So I treat them both with same importance. That’s how I turn it around to make order out of disorder."

"Living with uncertainty is a serendipitous adventure of fun and excitement that comes with each new discovery. Yes, I believe ADD can be turned around to attention toward the things you like best and don’t get caught up in the trivia of society’s hypnotic conditioning and labels."

ADD may only mean that person is an individual who sees with his or her own eyes and thinks with their own brain.

"Only a visionary is a true realist."

Robert Toth describes himself as "an American Impressionist." The ADD Community would best describe him as "one who makes an impression. "
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