The “Why” is easy. For the fortune and fame, clearly. We do it not for the love of creating – for that would be foolish in this economic climate, and we are not fools. Nope, definitely not. And we starving artist have to, well, eat. So that would lead me onto the fortune part. Oh yes fellow friends, there are squillions, maybe even gadzillions of dollars to be made from our artistic endeavours. Do not believe the pessimistic propaganda that is fed to us daily – that there is no ready cash to splash around and support a creative industry – paintings are positively leaping off the surviving gallery walls, with those little precious red dots resembling a bad case of measles – oh yes, that is how numerous they are. Bi g bucks, people, big bucks.
And the fame, heavens, the fame! Its not like there are hundreds of us in Brisbane alone, studying Art Almanac, Invurt and Fourthousand like a post graduate preparing for a Ph.D, just for an opportunity to show our work. Shows and exhibitions SHOUTING out for submissions, on a daily basis – no, really. How lucky there is little competition between us few precious artists. Have I mentioned also, the character building exercise of submitting work, only to have it rejected on many occasions? No, that keeps us humble . Nobody likes an artist with a big head, its just rude.
So. Why DO we do it? If I’m completely honest, art really is a self indulgence, and as much as it pains me to admit it, pretty much everyone can do it. Hopefully not as well as me, but nonetheless, its not brain surgery. I speak only for myself – I do it, because I love it. I love the creativity of the composition. The joy of seeing a painting come alive under my hands. The happiness I can give someone, when I present them with their commission. The astonishment and giggles when they notice the little sly touches of humour, that aren’t apparent. Because I am big on the funny. Art should make you chortle, and snigger and, God forbid, think. That’s pretty much enough for me. Art is fun but being an artist is hard slog.
Why not do it? The silly things in life that sometimes get in the way. Oh, like eating, paying rent, bills, buying sugar-coated peanuts. The boring stuff that life is made up of. Could I not do it? Nope, will always paint and draw. Because its fun. And sometimes important.