Have you ever had someone look at you with that look that says,"I am concerned for your future and I also think you are flat out bonkers for trying to make a go of it in anything related to the arts because you are going to fall flat on your face, have to move in with your parents, never be able to pay your bills and end up sad and alone."
Well, I have. More times that I can or want to count. It's part of the fine print that we all ignore when we decide to go into an arts related field or forge our way forward in the arts. Sometimes you don't even get the concern from people, just the flat out crazy bit.
So why do we do it? It's not like their concerns aren't valid. Going into the arts certainly doesn't provide a person with any sort of guarantee, stability, or promises. In a time/economy/social era like we are in these days the arts are low man on the totem pole at best, kicked off the island and forgotten about most of the time and usually just something that is relegated to little kids and something to marvel at for a second when someone convinces an Elephant to "paint" (I won't get going on my feelings on this whole animals making art thing. That's for another time.)
So with all this against us, why do we take the hard road? We know that jobs are few and far between, we know that most people won't understand or be supportive of our choice and we know that no matter what we do, luck or no, we are going to have to work our asses off every second of every day. Does the idea of walking up hill in the snow with no shoes pulling a cart full of manure both ways sound familiar???
Answering my own question, I do what I do for many reasons. The first reason is that I have to. I am an evil, unsocial, unforgiving, nasty person when I am not creating. Those who knew me when I took a little time off from art can attest to this and have told me that it is most certainly true. I am not my truest self unless I am creating art, talking about art, helping others create their art or otherwise involved in the arts. Secondly, I love creating. It makes me happy. Every part of the creative process is something that I can get lost in from the ideation stage when I am just coming up with ideas and concepts to the sketching stage where I plan things out all the way through to completion. I can stand back and look at what I have made and regardless of how well I think I did, I have created something that exists outside of myself but is infused with my thoughts and dreams and ideas. I think that's something pretty darn spectacular. I guess the third biggest reason that I create especially sculptural works is because I have to keep my hands busy all the time. There is something in me that needs to build things, needs to have the materials in my hands working with them, molding materials into what I see in my head. It's just who I am. If I don't create I end up getting fidgety and I can't sit still. I can't focus on anything or complete a thought. So I guess doing what I do is a bit something like my own personal therapy or my own drug of choice. I'm completely OK with that.
So why do you do what you do despite all that is going against creative endeavors these days?
Comment here or on the YouTube video. I can't wait to hear/read what you have to say!
Until we Conundrum again!