This terrifies me, to put out here all my artistic insecurities and horrible habits, but I have realised I can't do this on my own, that I need help to understand and grow better. This post is for all the people who almost push that post button, but never quite have the confidence to hit it, I hope we both can get something out of this ramble. TL;DR below.
I'll start at the beginning of my art life. In school my art work was always the one that got picked for demonstration, always told that I was talented. Told that I'll get far with my art, but never told how. I have been through several different types of art education, both through an animation degree and online. I have learnt techniques, design, theories, branding, but nothing has clicked with me about creating art for a living.
A few years back I left university, newly married and desperate to start making money to support myself and my wife. I found that I ran through loops of attempting different job roles (storyboard artist, vis dev artist, animator, illustrator, graphic designer etc) or styles, but never getting anywhere with it. I feel because I would find a job post and rush to produce a portfolio that suited that role, this has never proved to work. During this time I ended up working part time in Asda (Walmart) to pay the bills. I created small character paintings of my DnD games, or worked on pretend projects to buff the portfolio, however I would always end up feeling that it's a waste of time, as it's not serving anything.
My biggest confession, something that I have always been ashamed of, and is something I never know if I am in the minority or majority with (speaking to the silent numbers, the people who read these forums and articles but never post). Is that I rarely actually made (..make) art, I'd be lucky to produce something once a month, I try to put so much effort into figuring why I'm creating this I burn myself out from over thinking, but really I don't want to make excuses.
Jake's video came out about having a product rather than a project. When I finally stepped back and decided to do what I wanted to do, I found I still had this problem. I went from wanting to produce a board game because I love them and I enjoy creating games, to wanting to make children's books because I want to push good morals onto young people, to acrylic painting because I could understand the concept of people buying this form of art, to refurbishing furniture again because I can understand why people would buy this product. But nothing came out of this because I always felt there was no purpose behind what I was doing, it's not going to change anything. This, I believe, has had a side effect of not joining in with communities or going to conventions because I feel I have nothing to offer.
From what I remember as a child I liked to draw because it was a way into 'the zone' where nothing around you matters, your mind goes blank and all there is you and the art. I still get a kick from this but feel it's not enough anymore, I need meaning and I don't know how to find it!
In the last month my wife and I have separated, which sadly I guess has got me to finally hit that post button. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter of meaning behind you making your art, what drives you? I have spent many years quietly reading through hundreds of articles and videos about art, producing art and selling art but I feel I am missing something in my understanding.
I'm sure this could have been more refined, but I just needed to get it out there!
TL;DR - Why do you create? What purpose does it give to you?