Make Art Because Art

It’s easy to get busy with commitments and have-tos and come to the decision that you don’t have time for art, especially if the thing you want to make doesn’t have a purpose or is unlikely to turn out exactly as you hoped. This is why I knit socks. When I’m done, I will have something to show for my efforts, though I would rarely consider my socks art.

But creation is food for the soul, and getting good enough at something to be happy with the results take practice. If I want to be able to draw a bird, I need to draw birds. Lots of them.

One of my favorite children’s books was Arm in Arm, which included the story of a painter commissioned to paint a fish. The buyer waited a year, then went back to the artist and asked for his painting. The artist whipped off the most beautiful painting of a fish the buyer had ever seen as he was standing there.

“If it was so easy, why did you take so long to paint this?” he asked.

In answer, the painter opened a closet door. Hundreds of paintings of fish fell out.

The following is reminder for me. If you’ve forgotten why you need to make messes, need to just make things without rhyme or reason, then maybe it will be a good reminder for you, too.

We must make art for the sheer sake of making art. That is being true to our nature. That is being true to our path. ~Julia Cameron

So go make art. Because that’s what you want to do.

Are you struggling to make art? Why?

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