This week I thought I'd make a more personal post. I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the things that drive me and inspire me to keep making art. It's not really something I'd ever thought would be more than just a hobby.
I've always loved animals of all shapes and sizes. I like being around them and I enjoy just watching them go about their lives. That's why I wanted to study animal behaviour; I wanted to learn more about what makes them tick. I had thought I would go into scientific research but when it came down to it, all the number-crunching just didn't engage me enough.
I have been through quite a few jobs in a variety of different fields; some I have enjoyed, most I haven't. I've also lived in several different places. Throughout all my moves and different jobs I've always spent my spare time making art and trying to get out to see things that inspire me to create.
My main creative inspiration is nature. I love being surrounded by natural environments of all sorts and I can start to feel a bit oppressed and restricted if I'm not able to be out of the hustle and bustle for a while. One thing I have found is that when I can't actually get out and about in nature enough is that being able to replicate aspects of nature helps me feel much better. For me the aspect I find most interesting is the animal life all around.
My brain is constantly ticking over with lists and plans, worries and anxieties. I find when I'm drawing I can switch the brain-noise off a bit and actually relax. Having more time to do art has definitely helped my state of mind. It provides me with a challenge that I enjoy and a distraction from everything else that is going on. It also helps a lot to feel like I have a definite purpose for making art now. I don't think of it as self-indulgent or an unproductive use of time any more- it's now the most productive use of my time (apart from all the nasty admin).
A more recent driving force behind me making art is the challenge of just proving to myself that I can. I've never really thought I would be good enough to actually make a living through creativity, but as it turns out people seem to like what I do. Every bit of positive feedback I've received has inspired me to keep working at this new venture (so thank you). There have been a few people (myself included) who have shared their doubts about whether I can actually be successful. Every doubt is making me more determined to keep going.
I'd certainly rather be doing something positive and productive than sat at home doing nothing, like I was before taking the plunge in to self-employment. I'd also much rather be working hard to support myself instead of just lining someone else's pockets. It does mean I'm not very well-off at the moment (financially anyway) but I can say that for the most part I am definitely much happier thanks to art.