Why I Art?

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In all honesty, I can’t say that this is one of those questions that I’ve ever given any thought to. It has never dawned on me to wonder or explore the reasoning behind why I create things. I’ve always just accepted it as a part of who I am in the same way that my brown eyes and a liking for parmesan and smoked paprika on my popcorn is a part of who I am. But recently the question was brought to my attention and I felt stumped. At the moment I couldn’t think of much more than “It’s just something I’ve been doing since high school.” which didn’t seem to be a very satisfying explanation. Unfortunately when you’re an adult you expect to be able to give some kind of philosophical treatise on why you do what you do, even if ultimately it may sound vague and convoluted. So I was a bit perplexed and started giving this more thought. Why do I create? Or as the question was presented to me “Why do you art?” For the past three days I’ve been mulling over this and to my surprise the explanation I’ve come to delves into my own belief system and cultural values.

In an era where so much that we own is mass produced and almost everything is at our fingertips and available instantly, I still value that which is uniquely made by individuals by hand through time, skill and effort. I have a love for craftsmanship and derive a deep appreciation and satisfaction for work that I can see took time and skill. When I sit down to stipple or do a carving I feel like I am creating something unique and worthwhile that can’t be easily mass produced on a machine in some factory. I feel drawn to hone my skills to mastery and create things that are delightful or awe inspiring. At times I feel that craftsmanship is something that we are losing in this fast paced digital age as we become more enthralled with technology and programs can be coded into machines to create art for us. But each time I sit down to create something with my very own hands I feel as though I’m keeping the spirit of craftsmanship alive. So this is why I create, this is why I art.

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12x12 Bohemian Sun Mandala

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9x12 Rihanna stipple drawing

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