Friday, October 23, 2009

Why I love being an artist

I am paying money for it, spending money on it, taking time to make it, maintain a blog about it, read books analyzing it, follow website/blogs discussing it, listening to seminars regarding it, and losing sleep over it, so I guess "it" must be something I love.

I don't think I've ever come out and talked about this before.  It's just not something that comes up.  I mean, I have to like being an artist, right?  It's what I've been studying the last four years, and possibly many more to come.  "Yeah, but when are you going to get a real major?" you ask.  "But, what are you going to do after you graduate?"  "How are you going to find a job doing that?"  "How are you going to use your art?"  Those are all legitimate questions.  But, let me ask you these questions:  "If a computer engineer hates his job, is he really in a 'good career'?"  "How many times does someone question that computer engineer about why he chose to go into that career?"  "How many times does that engineer get excited about his work?"  "How often does he begin to see his work projected into every aspect of his life?"  You see, after all, art is not just something that I do, it's something that is truly part of my being.  It keeps me going.  It keeps me alive.

Even when I'm up late painting after a long day, I still really enjoy art.  It's refreshing in a way that hardly anything else is. I think quilting, and sewing, and cooking and painting are all kind of the same that way--they give me a high on creativity.  I don't think I could go a week without being creative.  I think I would go stir-crazy and tear the house down just so I could create with the parts.  Even when I am finding that we are in a tight-bind, I can some how find something to create with.

I love how after a little while of not creating, I just start to itch-- an itch that makes me get up and make something.  I am still so much of a little kid. I love being able to bring my creation to my husband and say, "Look what I made today!"  It makes me so happy to see something that wasn't there before.

Just like there is an energy circulating in the air when the leaves start to change colors and the wind gets a few degrees cooler, there's that innate rustling that gets me excited.  When I get a new idea or am inspired by someone, it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until I can't contain it anymore and I have to do something about it.  Sometimes that "something" doesn't turn out so good, but other times, it becomes something wonderful and often life-changing.

It might sound silly that an idea about art can be life-changing, but it's real.  If I really spend so much time on art, then these moments truly are mind-altering, and therefore life-changing.  Just like a mathematician that comes across a new way of looking at the same old formula can be life-changing.  It may not change the way that I walk down the street, or the way that I cook dinner that night, but that doesn't mean that it can't be life-changing.

Moments where I get that excited feeling down in my stomach, they often look like this:
A brand new sketchbook.

Sketchbooks are just ripe with imagination on their pages.  They are ready to unleash ideas and moments of my life that are calling to come out.  They are swollen with waiting life-changing moments. They are teeming with un-thought ideas.  There are so many unbound journeys waiting in a sketchbook, calling out to be found.  The wonderful watercolor pages are juicy with wonderful mini-paintings, begging to become great.

And the best part is, I get to spend all day and all night filling it in. Well, until Tuesday morning that is, when the entirely filled sketchbook is due.  Darn school assignments.  Rushing art.  What a shame.

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