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Why make art?

October 22, 2012

P1040164eBeen thinking a lot recently about art practice and creating and my head has been swimming with doubts and why’s. Especially after attending a discussion on alternative education, it raised so many questions. Why am I doing this? I can’t do this. It’s too hard. Everyone is doing more. Everyone is doing it right, I’m doing it wrong. I need another degree, I don’t need another degree Etc. Etc.

So, to try to unscramble my thoughts I wrote a list (I love a list, it always helps!) My first question to myself was ‘why be an artist?’ ‘But I just am!’ was my answer, so I had another think, and the question really seemed to be ‘why pursue an artistic practice?’ and so here are the answers I came up with:

*to fulfil the desire to make/create or to not suppress the desire
*to explore visual elements of the world that I find beautiful/interesting
*to show people what I see – to point things out
*to make sense of the world/my thoughts
*to remind myself to look at the world
*to explore what I think about things
*to get lost in making
*to connect with people through art
*to use it to navigate life
*to share experiences
*to make beautiful/interesting things
*to leave a legacy
*to encourage people to think differently
*to encourage people to reconsider their point of view

Then I asked myself ‘what do I need to make this happen?’ Or ‘what do I need to sustain an artistic practice?’

*routine
*experimentation
*regular external inspiration
*deadlines
*support/ collaboration
*feedback

So there it is! I think I might have to print out so I don’t forget! I suppose now I need to build those things into my life.

What are your reasons for pursuing an artistic practice? Let me know in the comments,if you like. And also, how do you keep your practice alive?

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