An inordinate number of high achievers suffer from depression and mental illness.
That someone like Lincoln had a life so full of incredible accomplishments and an unfailing moral compass, and yet according to his friends "dripped sadness" and could not find meaning in life amazes me.
Same with Churchill, who guided Britain through one of its darkest periods with an incredible willpower and yet suffered from acute depression all his life (he called it his black dog, always looking over his shoulder).
The determination and discipline of these individuals, who despite their depression went on to accomplish great things awes me, this is a tribute to them.
Pencil and ink on board, scanned and cleaned in Photoshop.
FURTHER READINGS AND EXPLORATIONS:
Churchill: there are many great biographies out there, one in particular is the small but excellent Winston Churchill, a Life by John Keegan. Read also Churchill’s speeches.
Lincoln: read his most famous speech; The Gettysburg Address. His memorial in Washington, DC is worth visiting.
Maupassant: read his short story The Horla.
Hopper: check out his most famous painting, Nighthawks.
Lovecraft: read his stories The Call of Cthulhu, The Shadow Over Innsmouth and At the Mountains of Madness.
Beaudelaire : read Les Fleurs du Mal
Kafka : read The Metamorphosis and The Judgement
O’Keeffe: check out her paintings of flowers.
Hemingway: read The Old man and The Sea, as well as his short stories.
Poe: read The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of The House of Usher, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue.
Twain: read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer