Why are you a creator? Why you? Why now?

07 September, 2020

I have been asked to write a manifesto or artist's statement before and it gets harder every time. They want to know why I'm here, taking their class, taking time to do this. I don't have any sort of goals at the moment or idea of where I want to go, instead I just create things and I wait for them to take me places. In regards to art, they ask me: "why you? why now? why here? and what for?" These are the questions I am figuring out the answer for, but not just for me, for every creative I know.

"Ohhh...Alright..." by Roy Lichtenstein
"Ohhh...Alright..." by Roy Lichtenstein

Why you?

I think of art and artists in terms of people who feel a pull to create things. I don't know why I am a person who creates, I just am. I think I was made this way and maybe life/behavior/external forces have pushed me further, given me the ability to feel so much that I can pour the overflow onto paper and into words. I know that some people don't create in the same way that we create, artists I suppose, and they don't experience a giddy feeling while shopping for art supplies or enjoy the frustration/excitement of working on a piece for weeks/months/years. I know that there are people who don't create and I'm not one of those people so I must be someone else. I must be.

Why now?

The time is not now, it has always been time. My entire life is the time to create. I didn't really start to make "art" until my first art class in middle school and I just haven't decided to stop yet. There is no right or wrong time to start projects, there is only what life gives you and your decision to accept it. Life said that there is so much time in the world to make things and what a shame it would be if you could never document this moment, if you looked back and had no art to show for all the things you feel or wish you could talk about. What a shame to want to do something and never do it. I've been shown all these other people who make beautiful things and I wanted to be like them so am. Right now there is just, somehow, so much time. 

"Self-Portrait" by Vincent Van Gogh

Why here?

I write here because I want other people to see my thoughts sometimes. I keep too much to myself. I make art here because I've seen other people do it first and thought it might work for me. I'm capable. I'm always trying to find a balance between a private life full of secrets and an opportunity to be apart of a community or something bigger than myself. Sometimes it seems like that community is never looking for me too. But there's no time like the present. There is no choice but to move forward from here.

What for?

Art for art's sake. Creation for creation's sake. I create because I can so I do. I create because I want to and I can. For that small chance at meeting someone who feels the same way. For the great chance that the people I know will give me praise and recognition. For recognition and some sort of status. For the chance at accomplishing something and having said that I've done something with the life that I was given and being able to show it. I create because I have read stories about musicians that I love and I want to create in the way that they have created. I want to be like the writers and singers and poets and artists who seem like with each piece they are getting something small off their chest and if I am certain of anything it is that I have something to get off my chest. If writing it down will get it out of my head or lead me to some sort of solution or reveal something about my self conscious I have to do it. I create to get to know myself. To see if it will help me like it has helped others. Because it brings me joy. Because I am really really searching for something in this world to make me feel better and make me feel happy and give me a purpose and unlock some sort of deeper meaning and explain all of things I do not understand. I have a lot of expectations for art. I create because I am still looking for answers.

"Untitled #96" by Cindy Sherman

 I would love to hear from other creators about why they've chosen to do what they do and I encourage you to answer these questions as well! I think it's just a common quality that we have and it encourages us to continue. Is there a specific moment that made you want to create or an easy way to explain your reason for writing? Of all the people in the world, why you?


Join the conversation!

  1. A lovely post, and what really struck me was when under the why? question you wrote 'i'm capable' - I've been writing recently about feeling imposter syndrome whenever I create, and I believe a lot of writers struggle with it. Sometimes we need that reminder that we do this for a reason and because we actually can x

    1. It's nice that you relate! I agree that we put way too much pressure on ourselves and creating/writing doesn't need a complex reason, we can just do what feels right ♡

  2. "The time is not now, it has always been time. My entire life is the time to create."
    So well said. I feel this in my soul.


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