Friday, June 18, 2010

Do you know why?

The question was raised for me in a TED lecture recently and my head has been spinning trying to figure it out ever since. I just couldn’t articulate what was in my heart. I kept coming back to things like, I love to paint, I have to paint, it’s my passion, but these statements seemed lame and shallow and overused. I knew what I felt was more, but how to put words to it? When Tuesday’s painting session was a flop the light bulb went off, I realised what I was craving, what was missing from this unsuccessful experience.

oil on canvas
35.5 x 35.5 cm
(Sharing another really old painting of mine here, just to put a picture that is sort of appropriate in the post!!)

Why do I paint?

I paint because: when it all goes right it is such a rush, just like a drug, it leaves me elated and energised.

I paint because; this is the arena where I feel accomplishment and pride in my skills in my creativity.

I paint because; my blood surges with adrenalin as I realise it’s all coming together, I know well before the last brush stroke if I am on a winner.

I paint because; my chest swells when I glimpse a new and fabulous painting drying on my easel. To think I have created this beauty to be left in the world long after I am gone is so exciting and awe inspiring.

And although these statements are about painting, it really is about why I create. When I am really into creating something it dosn't matter if it is a painting, sculpture or piece of jewellery the feelings of accomplishment and elation are the same.

I’m not sure I’m really at the core of it yet. But I feel I am on my way to being able to articulate and share why it is that I am so passionate about following my creative visions. Do you feel similarly? Are you able to articulate what drives you to spend your time and money putting your heart and soul into creating something that never existed before?


  1. No, I am unable to properly articulate it... but I think you have done so really well.

  2. I don't think I've ever really stopped and thought hard about why I create. I make things because I love it, and it gives me great satisfaction to give a gift that I've taken time to make myself.

  3. This is something that I've been dealing with intensely for the past few days but still haven't found an answer to. I LOVE your response! Brilliant insights into your own soul.

  4. very well said Kylie, alot of soul searching going on at your place, love it!

  5. I have sewn and knitted since I was seven, so I haven't really thought about why - it's just a part of me!!

  6. Am with you on how hard it is to articulate. My most immediate response is, because I want to make a living from my creativity rather than any other way. OTher than that, I draw people, because i love people watching and looking at faces. I am still working on it!!

  7. it is totally a sense of well-being and a need and urge that can't be fought. We are creating all the time, but to create 'consciously' like this for me is so life enhancing and helps all areas of life, like problem solving etc etc.

    I left a long comment on your facebook discussion 'why' just adding my many-years-of-thinking-about-it too thoughts :)

    I think you do it for all the right reasons. Those feelings you describe are so much more fulfilling than a lot of other things we could be spending our time doing.


  8. It's a great question and I don't know if I'm really at a place of understanding.

    I like your answers and can relate to them.

    I remember leaving a comment on your blog once about "feeling so alive" when I paint. It brings me to life, it brings me a sense of peace, it makes me feel connected to something so much bigger than myself. There's a real sense of spirituality for me with creativity, and particularly painting.

    Why do I do it then? To feel alive, to feel whole, to feel connected to the universe.

  9. I have many reasons why I love drawing but one of the biggest reasons is that I want to tell stories. There is nothing that I love more than to tell a story with a picture and maybe just a few words when it fits with the drawing.

  10. Kylie, I really enjoyed being challenged by you to ask why? Here is my reply. Thanks for asking and I have enjoyed reading your answers too
    Moira x


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