View Full Version : Why do you do what you do?

04-10-2013, 11:59 PM
Why do you do what it is that you do? This is a question that the professor in this weird art theory class I'm taking has asked me and all of my classmates to think about this quarter. Why do we do what we do (in terms of art)? Why do we work in that material or with that subject matter and why do we do art in the first place? These are all really vague questions and require a large amount of introspection, but I think it is actually worth considering and talking about. So I'm creating a thread and asking this question to all of you. It's really open ended. Your answer (for it is subjective) might be as simple as "I do art because I want to!" and that is totally fine! It's also an answer that most likely changes a lot over time... I've been doing a lot of thinking and I'm going to put my tentative answer in spoilers. Fair warning, it may get long because I tend to ramble.

My immediate answer was "because I want to." I draw because I simply like to draw. However, the more I thought about it the more I decided that it wasn't because I "want" to but because I "need" to. Drawing or doing artistic things in general keeps me sane. It is stress relief and relief from boredom, and it lets me express myself. BUT as I thought about this even more - mainly thinking about what i choose to draw and what drawings inspire me - I realized that it's a little bit more than that. Most of the pieces that are inspirational to me are portraits or drawings of people in general. I draw because I love people... It's the same reason that I love psychology! I am obsessed with the mind and why we do things or act a certain way. I love learning about different emotions and the psychology behind each one just as much as I love learning about how children's brains develop. I am passionate about the mind, and it is why I love drawing portraits and people in subways... I am entranced by both the beauty of the mind, and the beauty of the way it is expressed in a person's face. Or at least, that is what I've decided for the time being.

tl;dr: I do what I do in terms of art both because I need to, and because I am obsessed with people.

So. Why do you do art?

04-11-2013, 12:35 AM
Because bugger all if I'm not good at something.

04-11-2013, 12:48 AM
I'm pretty similar with you, Cora. I draw, mainly, because it's an outlet for me and because I just love making art. It almost always cheers me up and I can lose myself in art. The pride I feel when I create a piece I love sure helps to boost my everyday confidence. Also, seeing how art inspires people and makes them happy or emotional inspires me and makes me want to be able to share that, too.

04-11-2013, 05:10 PM
I have ideas that I want to express. I can't fully do that to my personal satisfaction at this point in time. I do not always make the time to practice and that holds me back a lot. I create and imagine things in my mind that I want to be real or tangible to some degree so I can show other people what it's like inside my head. In a way I do what I do to be understood and to change how other people see things.

Makes no sense long story short I'm crazy.

04-11-2013, 08:49 PM
lol Sy XD (but yes that is a fantastic reason!)

No Psy that totally makes sense! Like... my understanding of what you're saying is art for you is a form of both self expression and an attempt to show people how you view things right? If I got that right it makes a lot of sense! Especially since everyone views things differently. :)

And JJ I totally relate to what you're saying. :)

Also I realized after I created the thread that, even though I framed the question in relation to art, it really applies to anything that you are passionate about. So feel free to extend the question to more... why you do whatever it is that you are passionate about, whether that's art, biology, math, english or whatever. :D

04-11-2013, 09:46 PM
Pretty much for the same reasons as Psy, mixed with a little of what you have written Cora. I have stories and ideas that I want to express through some form of medium. In fact I initially tried writing but as you may tell from poor grammar, bad speling etc that didn't go terribly well. To that end I remembered a time when I did actively read comics and thought it was worth a shot. That was why I started and was my major influence for quite some time, unfortunately it has now diminished somewhat, this year Iíve spent drawing has opened up a lot of different reasons to keep working at it, however mainly as a form of stress release from my other studies. Recently I also found out that with time I may be able to apply to work on scientific anatomy coupled with anatomical drawing, combining two areas I love studying. I've always enjoyed science and its application to the human body, I think that is why I find anatomy a fascinating area, despite the long lag period it took for me to actually start art wise. It's opened up a lot of doors surprisingly, however it pains me that progress isn't as fast as I would initially anticipated, but oh well.

04-11-2013, 11:23 PM
Originally, I started out enjoying art because I was creating something. The feeling of being able to put down whatever I wanted was magical. The people here at MT kept me going and gave me challenges. Once Josh came around, I felt like I had an art buddy/rival and that encouraged me even more. The feeling of just drawing together and enjoying each other's company was a really great feeling.

As I went along and learned more about anatomy and art in general, I started to lose the magic. It's not magical once I know how something works. Now, I'm just trying to find some way to bring back the magic of creation.

It's the same with everything I take interest in, really.

04-13-2013, 01:39 PM
I study what I do in school because I feel like I should. And I don't know what I actually want.

I work because it gives me a sense of responsibility.

I create because one day I hope to change the world; I'm just often unsure of how.

04-13-2013, 03:01 PM
Why do I do what I do (in terms of art)?

I do what I do because I love what I do, and I would not do it otherwise. Alas, I may sometimes do what I don't like to do or don't want to do because I like to stay flexible and versatile in my field.

Why do I work in the material I use or with the subject matter?

I'm a big-time fan of comics, manga, anime, and sci-fi everything. I grew up on the stuff, and furthermore, I grew up using pencil and pen. That being said, my main goal with all my art has always been to either create something cool, or something meaningful to others or me-- in a cool way, and that's never changed.

why do I do art in the first place?

I don't want to affect anybody, or change the world. I want to create and see my creations given life. Why do I create? Because it feels amazing getting that one freaking idea stuck in my head like a stubborn turd out onto paper and done. It also just helps me through tough times. As I wrote in an essay for a writing class, "not only could I create my own worlds-- I could live in them too."

To put it all short and bluntly, I do what I do because I love to bring my creations to life, and it also helps me get away and forget about all the shit.

04-13-2013, 05:26 PM
Quite some interesting answers here...

I draw because it represents freedom for me, I can create whatever I want to, my imagination only limited by time and skill.

Well, that and I'm a huge story teller. I love stories. Plus drawing is very relaxing, I must say. It feels great when you finish a good piece.

As for the medium/materials, well... I don't know, I just do whatever feels right for the piece. Manga is what started getting me to draw seriously, I can remember buying my first pen set and brushes, it was exhilirating. That said, manga holds a special place in my heart.

04-17-2013, 02:27 PM
I really like your answer AnimeRebel, and the answer from the OP is quite interesting.

My answers:
Why do I draw at all? and Why draw fantasy?
It has to do with my perspective on the real world I think. It seems to me that the real world is incredibly boring. Our forests aren't particularly amazing, they have tall trees, and some cool animals here and there-most of which are going extinct or already are. Our cities have bland cube buildings, fairly simple layouts. The stuff to do in this world is equally boring. People spend all day in traffic ques, talking to some duche about how to make more money or doing some dull unadventurous deal to make money, to spend on even more boring things. Even some of our more wonders aren't that great. Many of the cool places are either too hot or too cold for us to do anything in. We haven't the technology to get far enough under the sea for things to get interesting. We can hardly go anywhere in space, and when we do, we find more nothing. By contrast, drawings have no limits. Fantasy worlds can contain anything you want them to. Magical humans, giant creatures, lush forests, mystical caves, sci-fy technology, dragons, alternative species of men and so on. I like to think of all of my drawings as part of this big alternate fantasy world. When I draw in that world, everything interesting or fun, is possible. Like Piccaso said, anything you imagine, is real.

Why the materials I use, and in the style I use?
This question is less deep. When I started I was drawing manga using just pencil. Anybody who's been on MT since the dawn of time will remember 'Burnzeh'. That was me. I had no idea what style or what materials to use. But as I got more into the whole art scene, I gathered influences. A lot of my style choice is drawn from final fantasy art work and anime. Or at least, my early stuff was. These days I have a ton of influences, but I'm largely dominated by the old english illustrators. As for materials, I use ink and watercolor because I love Arthur Rackham's work, and that's what he uses. I use color pencil to color details because it's more controlled, and then I throw in anything else I think the drawing needs. </spoiler>

Now, if only I knew how to put a spoiler.


04-17-2013, 07:29 PM
Why do I argue?

Because I find it's the best way to occupy my mind. It forces me to think on my feet and it's a challenge.

It's also because I'm an angry person. A very angry person.

04-21-2013, 04:09 PM
I love to make beautiful things not only for myself but for others as well.

If I do a piece well, and I and others enjoy it, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. If I do a drawing for someone and they react with excitement and joy, it gives you a wonderful feeling. You feel like you are contributing to the beauty of the world, even if it is in just that moment.

Now, I do use it as an outlet. It is a way of expressing my imagination and tastes but I do not believe that is the main purpose for me.

I want to get better so I can produce more beautiful images. This feels like something that won't go away until I'm dead. :bunny_hophappy::bunny_hophappy: