Sunday, 13 April 2014

Life After University: What is the point of your art?

As an artist, one of the questions I often have difficulty answering (and have had difficulty with even before and during University) is this: "What is the point of your art?"

Honestly, most of the time, I don't know. I don't often set out on a project with a clear picture of what it will turn out being and what it will be for. Even when I do have some sort of an idea, I still have trouble answering this ever repeating question.

The "point" of much of my personal art has little to do with an audience or client in mind. I create it because I must. Imagine having a song stuck in your head. Can you manage long without singing or humming it? What is the point of your singing it? For me, the creative process is often like this. You cannot help yourself, you feel a deep longing to pick up that pencil or whatever tool you are drawn to. It won't stop nagging at you. I have something in my head, be it story, drawing, craft idea, and I can't rest until it is out. There is no point to what I make other than relieving some pressure and putting an end to the internal nagging of my brain. I'd go nuts if I tried to hold it all in.

It is true that some things come more slowly and some things come more quickly. Sometimes the creative process comes at you like a rushing wave and the piece if finished before you really understood what you were doing. Other times, it is slow and requires much pausing and thinking, feeling for the right course. But, at the end of the day,whether the art makes any sense or not, they come because they cannot be stopped.

So, my fellow artists, illustrators, and all creatives, why is it that you do what you do?

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