There comes a time when we have to decide what we want to do. We do not really have to know why, unless you’re an artist and you have to write an artist’s statement. They keep asking for it when you apply somewhere.
The thing is the why is not really that important. I know people that get stuck on asking themselves why they want to make art and because they can’t find a suitable answer, they wonder if it wouldn’t be better to quit it. The fact is you don’t need a reason to make art. You obsess over something and you cannot not do that. You cannot imagine yourself doing something else (if you can, then go do that 😉 ). Art is not something you have to do. It is not like paying your bills. You need to make art, like you need to eat.
If you don’t believe me, believe her:
Reasons for what you do may come in time, but they are not necessary to be an artist.
There is a painter, Joe Andoe, who paints horses and landscapes that didn’t seem to mean anything, until he started adding a woman in the pictures. He realized she looked like his first love and that he was painting a day from his memory over and over again. The thing is, not knowing why he was painting what he was painting, didn’t stop him. He just needed to do that. I would dare say he wouldn’t even have asked himself why, until someone pointed out that the women in his paintings are actually one woman and his brain went on to rationalize that. I feel like this time answering the “why” steals from the charm that the mystery adds to the work of art. You are not as free to imagine whatever you like when you see his paintings.
And if you want to bind yourself some more, you can listen to his story here.