Why do I make art?

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I personally believe all of us are creative in some way.  The definition of creative is- relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas.  All of us are creative.  It might not be in the usual forms, of say, painting, singing, dancing, writing, photography, knitting, crocheting, cooking, making furniture, or sewing, but maybe a person who is great with numbers has a very creative way to find answers to problems.

What I am saying is, we all possess talents and gifts.  It’s just that some are more obvious than others.  It drives me crazy when students say to me that they don’t have any talent.  When they say they can’t even draw a stick figure, my general comment is, “well, that’s good because we aren’t doing stick figures today!”  Adults have this natural willingness to dismiss their talents because they rate themselves even before trying.  We all do it.

I love watching kids in the classroom when given the chance to be creative.  They don’t need to be told how to be creative.  Give them a piece of paper and a crayon and watch them go. Kids have no inhibitions.  They don’t even know they are being creative.  They are not worried about accuracy or shading, or depth perception, or is something the right color.  It just comes naturally.  If it is in us when we are young, it must still be in us now, as adults.  It’s just that we have managed to push it so far down inside of us, that we forgot it was ever in us.

I think we are all making art in some way or another.  But, Pam, answer the question!  Stop rambling.  “Why do YOU make art?”

I make art because it makes me feel good.  Perhaps I can best explain myself by saying this.  When I have not been in the studio making art, I get uptight, irritated and am generally a crabby person.  I feel out of kilter.  I have a yearning to be creative.  I need to. If it goes on for more than a week for some reason, I have a gnawing in me.  Often, my husband will say, “get in your studio, and make art.”  Artists often say they get lost in the work, and hours can go by without them noticing.  It’s true.  I still think of being an artist as a luxury.  It’s not luxurious making art, but it is such a gift to be able to do what fills my soul and makes me feel whole.  I have an extremely supportive husband and he wants me to focus on my art life.

I sometimes wonder if art is important in the scheme of life. Is it just frivolous?  Does it really matter?  (I may be getting too heady.)  I make art simply because I get such satisfaction out of it and it makes me feel fulfilled.  When I think of how many people are doing jobs that they don’t like, I feel a bit guilty that I get to do what I want to do.  Of course, there is the bonus of selling my art.  That always gives me a reason to keep doing it.  I am thrilled when people are moved by my art.  They might not know the reason I did a painting, but the fact that I moved them emotionally is very rewarding.  An instructor once said, “Your job is to make art and cause a reaction.  It doesn’t matter if people love it, hate it, or are indifferent to it.  Your only concern is to create from inside yourself and let the rest happen.  You cannot control that.”

I agree with that because you cannot please everyone, so why not please yourself and create from your heart, not what you think people want.  It has almost never worked for me. When I am more concerned about what I think people will like than what I want to create, I usually fail.  I am not happy and the work usually doesn’t sell.  I am not an egocentric maniac, but I know for sure that if I create from my heart, it just works!

I have done landscapes and waterscapes for several years.  Whether I am working in watercolor, mosaic, or fabric, I have always used this topic. It is a relatively easy subject matter for me by now, and I am getting an “itch” to move on to another subject.  I have begun working on people studies.  Not portraits, but activities that people do.  Reading a paper, dancing, etc.  If you continue to visit my website, you will begin to see new subject matter.  I will not leave landscapes or waterscapes completely, but they will take a back seat soon.

Hopefully, I have not bored you to death and I have said something that you can agree or disagree with.  If that is so, reply to this blog.  I will look forward to reading what others think about my question.  Why do you make art?