persistence in the face of....

This post has been waiting to be written for quite some time, however I have been brewing over words and ways, only now realising what it actually is that's bothering me and what it actually is that I want to say......

Lately I have been questioning this core desire within me to CREATE; Where does it come from? What does it mean to me? What do I do want to do with it? Where do I want it to take me?

I have been creating, making, painting, drawing and crafting my whole life. 
It has been an integral part of my very being since I was a small child; a life built from tackle boxes full of beads and wire and shells and feathers that I stowed away under my bed; of diaries and folders full of drawings and ideas; of painted murals and crazy little sketches; of poems and messages on my bedroom walls; of hand-painted and cut up shirts and shoes, and of weird little obsessive photo collages, layering images and objects to decorate the walls of my haven - just to mention a few of my child/teenhood 'outlets'.

When I was a kid, all I thought about was making things 'pretty' (well.....pretty to ME!) - I was FOREVER decorating and changing around my room, (and I don't mean like painting the walls pink and buying new furniture - I mean that from a young age I would turn up my music and build nest-like caves out of vintage sheets hung from safety pins and fishing lines, taking the legs off my bed to make a 'futon', making tables and shelves out of beer crates and weaving lamp shades out of driftwood). This 'alteration' habit is one that I still have today and I think is core to my own creative process.

There were so many strange little projects that I undertook in the safety of my own room, but it is not until now that I have really started to question what purpose my own creativity is intended for.

I guess going to 'art-school' was probably the largest catalyst in my life for questioning my own processes. Constantly reflecting and questioning and JUSTIFYING every damn thing we did was probably what actually starved me of any genuine creative life-force I had. I love some of the stuff that I made while there, but, at times all the explaining really did suck the joy out of making!! Afterwards, completely messed up by the total obliteration of my own personal crafts, I began to create these weird little cartoon-like illustrations - purely moving towards the aesthetic and further away from anything remotely conceptual. This was quite a contrast to the "Art" (....hmmmph.... those are some HUGE air quotes there) that I had been cornered into creating at school (by school I mean like tech or university).

But now, nearly 10 years after this change in purpose, I've been questioning my motives. What is the purpose behind the art I make now? Have I become stuck in the aesthetic, or could my art be taken seriously? Am I able to make people think when they view my work? 
Or is my job simply to beautify, rather than to question or explain....?

I guess the big question is - Why do I make stuff? 
Because I want to make beautiful things for the people I love. When they look at my work I want them to feel beautiful and special and magical and decadent and chosen. I want my love to spill over onto them every time they use it / look at it / wear it / lie on it..... I want all of the things that inspire me to inspire others - those things that make my toes curl and speak to me of wondrous places, people, times and spaces.

I might just add here, that my writing is not by any means refined; I realise that this post is not rounded out or resolved in any way - I just wanted to throw these thoughts out there and see what may (or may not) come back.... 

While browsing for others thoughts about this I discovered this article from 'Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life'. An interesting read on Why We Make Art for those of you who may be thinking along the same lines.
What do you think about this topic? If you are a maker, why do YOU create? What is the backbone that carries you from one piece to the next? What philosophy do you tie to your making? I would love to hear ideas and thoughts about this subject. 


  1. What an interesting post. Firstly can I say that I think art school/ university destroys creativity! Everything gets completely over analysed until it has lost all it's creative magic! I think the beauty of art is that it comes from somewhere within you and is one of the few things that doesn't need to be justified or explained. x

  2. Absolutely! I agree on all of the above - especially the over analysis (which i am now doing once again; analyising the analysis... ugh!) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this with me; its a challenging process - but one that i intend to come out of in the end with all creative forces in tact! haha! :-)


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