Why do I paint? Actually, better question. Why do we (I) do anything for that matter? What motivates us or gives us purpose when we wake up in the morning? As much as I'd love to live my cats life (naps all day, food sometimes, someone else always taking care of me), it's nice to think that my purpose in life is a little greater than hanging out in bed all day watching Netflix.
But seriously, why do you do what you do everyday? What's your purpose? Where do you find meaning?
Once upon a time the morning greeted me with this seemingly infinite block of time in which I could do anything, but chose to do nothing, or at least nothing that felt truly meaningful. Those pointless mornings turned into sad afternoons, and quiet evenings. It all seemed to lack meaning as I just continued to roam aimlessly through the motions society has carefully curated for myself and others (or just sit and do nothing, contemplating how I could be doing something).
Then you light a candle and realize I think I might do something today. Really do something. I chose to go back to school and made an effort to socialize more (so hard sometimes!), started pursuing my dream of teaching, and ultimately realized that there was part of me that needed to connect and communicate. In these actions there was this newly discovered sense of happiness and above all else, meaning. But I wanted to continue to communicate not just in person (that can be kind of exhausting for an introvert), but through a creative outlet. And so painting entered my peripherals.
Humans are by nature social animals and though by nature art is a very individual and isolated process, there is still this inherent desire to connect to others through our work. Though my process starts by painting for myself, I now feel drawn to this desire to feel connected, to know that someone, somewhere felt something, anything, when looking at my work. Even if they think “EW GROSS WHY DOES SHE EVEN PAINT”, I think WOW I made someone feel so frustrated and angry! I’m happy I could give them that outlet to really express their feelings, so ultimately, lucky me!
To make someone feel, to really identify and connect to those inner emotions, what a gift.
That is my purpose. That gives me meaning.
What about you?