Perhaps one of the reasons why I started making art goes back to when I was a little kid and drew because I didn't know how to write. Telling stories through drawings enabled to me escape. Back when I was a kid it allowed me to retreat into a world that was stimulating, unpredictable and fun. Sometimes, much to the annoyance of my mother, I preferred drawing to going outside and playing with the neighborhood kids or climbing trees.
As an adult, making art is not only a form of escapism, it's also therapy. It helps me deal. Most people would be surprised to know this but I am a constant worrier. It doesn't take much for my mind to jump to a worst case scenario waiting in the bushes of some unforeseen future if I let it. I have to remind myself constantly to live presently and that there aren't things that I can't control. Making art forces me to be present and focus on the act of creation and it calming.
Anyone who knows friends me on Facebook is that I get pretty worked up about social issues, particularly when it comes to racial injustice. As I type this, it is the day after the Jordan Davis verdict and I am not happy about it. When I read news articles or read my Facebook feed, I'm reminded of the terrible things that human beings do to each other on a daily basis. I guess this is why I try to make art; I want to put something beautiful in the world. Somehow, creating beauty amid the chaos and the ugliness feels like an act of rebellion. In spite of the drudgery, I push back with its opposite.
And this is why making art is so important to me; it has helped me be a better person.
*The numbers I assign to these reasons are somewhat random but in this case, making art for sanity's sake is high on my list.