Ever since I was little, I enjoyed making stuff. Yes, it often lead to big messes, paint in the carpet and that one time I got silly putty stuck in my (already short) hair because I wanted to see how my hair would add a design in it. But even so, I was always curious and creative. As the years passed, I always came back to the same desire: to make and create. So for me, it's never been about the money, but rather the constant nudge in my bones to make art. Here are the 5 reason why I continue to make art.
1. Making art gives me permission to be free and different.
When I make art, I am in charge and that is so liberating. There is no right or wrong, but rather an ownership that I choose to take on about what I make and present to the world. This means, however, that I take full responsibility in how I spend my time, what I choose to make and the positive and negative feedback that may come my way. But I am willing to take that on because I don't want to be judged by any one else's standards but my own.
2. My art is me.
The things I create come from inside (and I'm not just referring to the growing baby in my belly). What I mean is, what I make is a direct link to my heart, my soul and my mind. Not to get all zen, but there is a direct connection there. So when I make artwork, it means something to me. It's important and I am proud of it. Therefore I want to share it, talk about it and pass the dose of inspiration along to other people.
3. I do it for the process.
Emily Jeffords talks about this in a recent blog post. The reason why so many artists make art is not for the end product, but rather for the process. And this is so profound because it is during the process that we become. Just like life is about the journey, art making is about the experience, the learning and the evolving that happens. And the value that is gained during that time has a remarkable impact on how we grow and get better.
4. It's fun and therapeutic!
What better therapy is there than to turn on some tunes, drop the to-do lists and get messy?! Seriously, my line drawings and coloring book are what I turn to when I need to think through stuff. Even though the line drawings take incredible concentration and attention to detail, there is something that happens when I put pen to paper. Same for when I am coloring in a page from the Splendid Coloring Book. I just let go of everything and find myself somewhere between la-la land and the idea depot. I just can think so much clearer and generally come away with new, fresh ideas. So yes, making art is my therapy and I'm not ashamed of that.
5. I don't know how to NOT do it.
It's in my bones people. I can't not make art. If I'm not working on artwork, I'm making something else. I'm journaling or playing in photoshop or taking pictures. As a creative soul, making, exploring, learning and growing are all part of the gig and thank goodness! I can't imagine living a life that is based solely on watching other people play sports or politics or reality TV. The more we depend on other people's reality, the less we add depth and intrigue to our own lives.
So there you have it. At the end of the day, making art is a necessary part of my life and I know this is true for many other artists out there. Selling our work is no-doubt rewarding, but it's just a small part of the process. The biggest reward comes from how it makes us feel when we create it and share it with the world.