Why I’m an Artist

In my endeavours of applying to college, I have had to write many essays on my passions and who I am becoming. The most important of the essays, the basis for every application, was quite the challenge to write. I actually wrote 5 essays before I wrote one I liked, but I started probably 9-10 in all. Spanning from my family, friends, faith, experiences, Utah, the different kinds of art, music, daily self-discovery, philosophy, and working hard as an American citizen, nothing fit. I wanted to write about art but I didn’t want to ramble about the different kinds and it’s place in the world, I had to make it personal. See, I wasn’t sure of why I made art, and obviously I had to figure that out before I wrote my essay. At this point, I had two days before the deadline. Two days to figure out why I chose my career, my passion.

That weekend is a blur. I also had to clean the house in preparation for a showing so I remember writing under extreme pressure and finishing it the day of the deadline. Attached is the essay.

   When asked why I create art, why I bother with hours of work with little pay off, I have trouble explaining the effect art has on me. I continually return to art before, during, and after other academic work because, as trite as it may sound, the beauty of creation holds such strong sway over me. I guess I’m obsessed with beauty, in a way. Not physical beauty, but a beauty that can’t easily be created. A newborn child’s first grin, or a broken heart glowing with kindness and generosity, or a drawing carefully and painstakingly created over the course of months of work, coming together to create a portrait of a woman that glows with grace and elegance. I’m an artist. It’s who I am. I spend hours drawing, researching by poring over books and websites, blogs and articles. I strive not to be good for my age; I strive to be excellent in the grand scheme of all art ever made.

    When I sit down at my studio to work, I’ll work for a while, look up, and five hours will have gone by. That is what I mean if I say I get “lost” while painting. The excitement and challenge of creation lures me in no matter my mood. Creating art is more than fame or showcasing a talent, it’s creating something new with your hands. It’s adding your own stamp to the world and the community of art that has extended since the beginning of humanity and that will extend beyond my time. I am part of something unique, I am connected to every artist before me and every artist after me. For the past 3 years I have gone to Utah to study under master artist William Whitaker. Regardless of all the artistic skills I learned from his teachings, I also learned that artists will help out their neighbor. Art is not an easy career to hold, and an artist that understands the struggle will help out in any way they can. William taught me for no cost, he mentored me in understanding the “how”. He taught me how paint was made, how a brush holds paint, even understanding the subject of the painting. Other than William I have emailed countless artists about their pallet or technique and they are always happy and excited to help.

    To me, the mission of the artist is to sponsor thought in whatever endeavours humanity decides to take on. My friends think I am the biggest art geek ever because sometimes I start to get emotional when I look at some paintings, but they don’t see what I see. I not only see the subject and the meaning in a work, but I also see the creation. I see the different paints and individual brushstrokes and the time and tears and love and passion put into the creation. Passion is beautiful. Art can get a lot of hate, but passion and love is stronger than adversity. The need in one’s heart to create no matter the cost has brought humanity to where it is today. I’m sure Edison was mocked in his endeavour to invent the lightbulb, but his passion lit up the world, quite literally, in ways no one could have imagined. As is my mission. I hope to share my passion with teaching. My art teacher inspired me in ways I can’t describe with words, only actions. He strengthened my faith and taught me lessons in life as well as the importance of art in society. I hope to make him proud by joining him in a mission to create passion in all the future generations, hopefully using creativity to push humanity to the stars and beyond.