Whenever I am told, “I wish I could draw beautiful things like you!” I get a little irked. Where other people see a hand, I see a snarky group of appendages that blatantly told me, “No!” nearly every time I tried in vain to paint them. An onlooker may see the sculpted face of a woman, while I see a dame I had to beg on bended knee to be drawn the way I envisioned her, a female who needed to be tempted with my hours of frustration and dedication until she was satisfied. Where they see “pretty,” I see work. Simplified, being an artist is a messy business.
I have committed so many crimes in the name of art that I run out of fingers and toes to count them. Murder, abandonment, the list goes on. I have ripped pieces to shreds and left others to collect dust. Artwork that I have invested emotion and time into has gone awry, leaving me a wounded creator with a failed creation. Ink stains, paint explosions, clay dust, they have all marked (and ruined) the clothes I own.
The muse I so desperately try to please is a cruel mistress. She comes in at all hours of the day and night, at the most inconvenient times, so drunk on inspiration that she cannot be understood or so dry and lifeless that she needs nursing back to health. I have ignored food and sleep for the sake of my craft. The emotion I invest in my work can eat at me for days, happiness or sadness, regardless. One is unable to be an artist without feeling all emotions in such extremes that it can be a little sickening at times. The question is: Why do it at all?
That answer is simple. To stop doing it, to cease creating, would be the end of me. By divine design, I am a creator, but less formally known as an artist. I do not know how to be anything else. Everything I do is done out of the pure love of my craft. I believe in the magic and authority of art, and in my ability to harness that magic. I create out of necessity, not out of vanity. My art is my life-blood, an entity on its own. I paint, I draw, I write to continue my own existence, to catalog the events that shape my human experience. Ultimately, I hope the anthology I am constructing will be of use to someone else. A world-wide fame is not what I am after, but if my work can impact one soul’s life, it will have all been worth it.
This life chose me, and I intend to honor that choice. I do not fear the inevitable failures I will face; my muse will always guide me. In a sense, I am lucky. At such a young age, my purpose has been revealed to me. Create. And do not stop.