Traditionally, suffering is associated with artistic pursuit. If one led a happy and pleasant life, then life was easy. And an easy life could never penetrate to the deep and profound truths which give wisdom.
It was only through pain and anguish that one could experience the deep and profound truths, the fundamental truths, and it was only if one experienced such truths that one could then write sentences or statements that were expressions of such truths. In this way, suffering has been seen as a motivation and inspiration, spurring the creation of art in its various forms.
The well-known effects of art therapy are also evidence that creating art soothes pain and suffering. Allowing for expression of suffering is cathartic- the strong emotions that one has when one is going through a period of suffering can, through drawing, painting, or writing, be purged.
Not only was it thought that suffering leads to good art, it was also thought that the making of art itself leads to suffering. The artistic process itself was thought to be conceivably difficult- it was a process marked by sheer discipline and willpower, and forcing oneself, through meticulous craftsmanship, to express what cannot be expressed, or to reveal some insight or meaning in an ingenious fashion.
To get the result exactly right and to labour over the work has led to affirmation of the thought that artistry leads to anguish.