The Why to Art

The stock answer for why I make art has always been that I just love making things and pretty pictures and colors. And that short answer is still true and I think I can safely say it always will be. But there’s a bigger reason that I just recently discovered. A deep, heavy reason. The reason for why you do what you do that’s so intense it’s almost too scary to face.

When I heard artists talk about their personal journey and reasons why, I thought I just may be in the wrong field. What was wrong with me that I didn’t have one of these meaningful stories to justify my playing with paints all day? I would think and listen but nothing any other artist said would apply to me. I don’t particularly want to inspire your child to be an artist. I don’t really feel strongly about helping people get through depression or loss.

The answer came last year when I was going through some hopelessness about the world. The unbelievable ignorance, selfishness, impatience, intolerance, greed and hate were getting to me. It seemed to just be getting worse. I really struggled with how to keep my hope for the future and humanity. I talked and talked about it but I didn’t feel better until I sat down and let it out with ink and paper.

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I could hardly believe how much better I felt afterwards. And it led me to my Why.

Art is the answer to everything horrible in the world. It’s my contribution to the solution. It reflects back justice and beauty and depth that the world desperately needs. We need art or the ignorance and hate would take over. It’s the whisper of new perspective, inspiration and revelation. It teaches patience when the only thing everyone seems to have time for is to read the headlines. It lets us laugh at ourselves instead of get caught up in constant outrage. Art is a religion that the entire world can share.