Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Discussion | 2 comments

I had to have a little dental work done yesterday so I had a nice block of time to sit and think and try to block out the screaming sound of the dental drill with nothing but my thoughts. I realized a few things.

1) A dentist could tell me I have a cavity or that my mouth was infested with little green elves and I wouldn’t know the difference.

2) Having extra nerves in my teeth and an extra bone in my hand are really crappy mutant super powers and probably not enough to get me into The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters.

3) My answer to why I decided to be an artist is really lame.

Number three is what I want to talk about today. The conversation usually goes like this:
Random person: “What do you do?”
Me: “I’m an artist”
Random person:”Oh, what made you decide to do that?”
Me: “I like to paint.”

Lame, right? Of course I like to paint. A lot of people enjoy painting but it really doesn’t answer the question of why I decided to make art my career. So here it goes. My longer better answer to why I’m an artist.

I’m terrible at talking.
I am not good at expressing my feelings or ideas with words. Especially in groups and especially when I’m put on the spot. I give a short answer feel uncomfortable and look away awkwardly. Coupled with the fact that I have a soft, little girl voice it’s difficult for me to get to know new people in a group setting or to really explain how I feel about things. Most of my friends are people I’ve lived with and have had a chance to feel really comfortable around so I can be myself. Art for me is a way to let people in and share my thoughts without the awkward, panic inducing chore of talking.

The corporate world isn’t for me.
I worked at an insurance brokerage for a few years. According to all my reviews I did a good job. I was miserable though. I hate office politics, paperwork and bureaucracy. At my last review my boss asked what I thought he should do to make the company better. My answer was “Fire me and hire someone else.” He didn’t fire me because he “appreciated my honesty” but I left a short time later.

I need quiet time
I’m very much an introvert. I need time by myself to feel recharged. My happiest times are when I’m quietly sitting and painting and letting my mind wander freely.

My brain is broken
Remember when you were a kid and you loved playing pretend and had imaginary friends? As you grew up your brain took over and told you that things that you think aren’t real. I don’t think that part of my brain ever developed. That means I have a very vivid imagination and sometimes have trouble know whether I actually did something or just thought it. I have dreams that are so vivid I wake up angry at people for things they did in my dreams (How dare you be able to fly and not tell me!). It also means that I am intensely creative and have a strange belief that I can make my dreams reality.

I like to make people laugh.
I think I’m pretty darn funny. My husband says my jokes are lame but what does he know? Besides he always laughs before telling me my jokes are lame so they must be at least a little bit funny. Much of my art is an expression of my sense of humor. I love when people are entertained by something I’ve made.

So, there you go. A non-lame answer to why I decided to become an artist.