I can’t count the number of times I have been asked the question, why do you do what you do? Or sometimes it leans more to why do you always do animals in your portraits? My easy answer is because it makes me happy.
We have so much in our world that can bring us down, mentally, physically, spiritually. It can be overwhelming at times. I see so many people who use their art to speak out about a subject. I love that they will do that, and I hope it brings them a feeling of accomplishment and healing. At the same time, it makes me feel like making art just to make me happy isn’t worthy. That I’m not “really an artist” if I don’t have an overt message in my work.
I can’t tell you how many times that has crossed my mind as I look at really powerful moving piece of art. Art that isn’t “pretty” or “happy.” I’ve become adept at pushing that thought aside and reminding myself it’s OK to do my art the way I want to. It doesn’t have to fit in someone else’s box. As long as my art is coming from within me and is authentic to my experiences it is worthy.
Then I have a day like today. When we artists took down our exhibit at Crist Mortuary, we were told that visitors, who you know are not there on the happiest of days, found comfort in being surrounded by fiber art, including four of my animals. Knowing that my art didn’t make any huge statement but instead brought comfort and healing to someone was very gratifying. I then stopped at my dentist’s office to change out the artwork I hang in his reception area. As I was about to leave, a client came in. He quickly ascertained that I was the artist, turned to me with prayerful hands, and bowed.
That is my why. That is what moves me to tears.