The answer to this question, for me, has never been entirely clear. I made art as a child because I loved getting lost in my imagination. As I grew older, as fewer and fewer of my friends continued with art, I know I liked the attention. It made me feel different from everyone else. I felt valued which, when you are growing up, is especially important.
But as one matures and grows older these reasons become less sustaining. If you happen to find yourself still making art some 15-25 years later, eventually one does have to ask and ponder the simple question why?
The answer to this question seems to become more nuanced over time I still am not entirely sure why I love to make art, however it is becoming clearer the more art I make. So maybe this question is answered by the progression of one’s art making. Maybe, if we understood the “why” from the very beginning it would not be such a seductive inquiry.
It is difficult to always know our “why”. However, there are clues. Practically every decision in your art making is made by a simple yes or no. Often these are intuitive. A choice between a color, a shape or a direction in your art that can be made just on the basis perhaps of what feels right to you.
The sum total of all these yes’s, in the end, culminates with your finished artwork. It is also the reason that your artwork becomes more and more unique. The somewhat repeating pattern of yes’s and no’s is what gives artists that much sought after “style” or individual distinction.
As the work becomes more clarified, I believe the answer, the “why,” becomes clarified too. We just have to trust that even though the answer is not evident now, in time, by the making of our art, it will be.
What is your Why?