I think it can be important for us to understand why we do things. It helps give meaning to our work (not just art work, but any work that we do). It is the motivation behind the effort. I hear a lot of this commentary lately, “I am an artist because I don’t have a choice. It is who I am. It is how I approach life and essential to my existence.” To someone who may not have that in their own life, that may sound a bit dramatic or unbelievable but it is very true for me. However, how did I discover that about myself?
I touched on this subject in a very early blog post: I Create for Us, It’s a symbiotic Relationship
I just reread that post and can say that I still find it very true. So I invite you to reread that for insight into WHY I create.
But there is more! (Isn’t there always?) When I was in 3rd grade, my family moved to a new town so I started in a new school. One day, I was pulled from class and brought to another room where there were a few kids working on various things. I was asked if there was something I would like to do. I was so confused! I was in school, weren’t they supposed to tell me what I should be doing? Having never been presented with this before, I remember being unsure but for some reason, I have no idea why, I ended up drawing.
I can remember where I was in the room, pretty much in the middle, with window to my left. The table was light colored, the low chair was an older heavy styled school chair. But I cannot remember why I chose to draw, or why I chose to draw what I did. I don’t recall if I was copying a picture, but something in the far reaches of my memory, I think I was.
As memories that stay with us usually do, what I do remember is connected to the feelings of the experience. What I remember most is after quite a while of drawing, I became aware that I had zoned out. I had become so engrossed in what I was doing that I had become unaware that everyone in the room had gathered behind me. And I vividly remember that moment.
The thoughts which ran through my mind are still with me. I remember, in that moment, realizing that there was something very powerful in what I was doing. I remember being both annoyed and pleased! I remember wishing they would all go away and leave me to get back to my drawing. I also remember feeling powerful that they were impressed enough with what I was doing to stop what they were doing to notice me. For something to be able to take me away from my surroundings the way that it did, and for it to also take others away from theirs, had to mean something. I understood then that there was something very powerful about art and that it would be a part of my life. I just didn’t really know in what form. I just wanted more of it.
That was the beginning of my understanding how my art is equally for both me and you.