When I was a kid, I felt drawn to visual art. I spent hours and hours perfecting different self-developed techniques. Teachers scolded me to stop drawing during class. Other teachers asked me to design the class bulletin boards or decorations our classrooms. I won art awards. My teachers featured my art in school-wide showcases, fundraiser calendars, and even art events around the city in which we lived. As a high schooler, my art teacher facilitated some of us students exhibiting in a public art show downtown. I actually scored a private commission from someone who saw my piece at this event.
I took home my school art pieces and worked on them at night, putting many more hours into my pieces than the other kids. I don’t think I was trying to be competitive. I just felt like the piece called for that much attention.
So why did I feel so drawn to drawing?? (pun slightly intended)
The truth is: I DON’T KNOW.
I started making art at a very young age. Back then, I lived in the Northern Appalachians in a county that is known for being colder, darker, and snowier than the counties surrounding it. I guess living in a super “wintery” place may have informed my need to make art. I guess I was inside a lot when it was super cold.
Actually, most of my memories of that place are of being outside. The summers were very beautiful. We lived on a mountain property with a lot of trees, a stream, and some lovely walkable territory. I played what some might call “make-believe,” but to me it was real. I thought of myself as a magical being. I engaged non-verbally with plants.
Perhaps you could say that I had a strong imagination. I still do. Perhaps my hours spent in non-verbal communication with the world outside afforded me a creative personality beyond what some might think of as “normal.” (What the hell is “normal,” anyway?)
But again… I don’t know.
Life coaches talk about finding your “why.” Something like “I want to make a living selling art because art makes me happy and I want other people to be happy.”
At this point in my life, I feel drawn to exhibiting my creations online. I feel drawn to segueing from not-making-money-from-my-art to making-money-from-my-art.
I am sick of spending time doing things that drain me.
^Haha. I must have just unearthed my “why.”
So whereas making an income off of something that is NOT my passion drains me, the idea of getting paid to do what fulfills me seems to be the opposite of draining.
Ah, now I understand. Because I feel DRAWN TO creating. I can’t not do it. I have to do it ON TOP OF working another job.
I work as much as I can to pay for the things that I need in this modern every-person-for-themself race-to-the-bottom collective consciousness called the USA.
“We” (the people that collectively manifest and perpetuate the USA) don’t use our country’s vast wealth to guarantee citizens ample healthcare, safe housing, water, electricity, income, transportation, happiness…. Thus, all citizens must work to earn income to pay for these COMMODITIES.
For those of us that get paid well to do what they love, life must be a fulfilling existence. They earn money to do what they love and use the income to buy the things that they need.
I don’t know how it is for other people, but, for me, creating has a way of refreshing my wellspring. When I sing, write, compose music, write songs, perform, paint, collage, make jewelry, and sew clothes, I feel very in touch with myself and energized. I can keep doing it for hours and days. The wellspring renews itself of its own accord and I am a happy, loving, and healthy family member and contributor to my community.
When I don’t engage in creation, my health declines and my relationships suffer. The negative effects snowball.
But even making art in my downtime or outside of work is not enough. My health isn’t as good as it was before I entered the workforce. I have to choose between doing WHAT I WANT TO DO and doing all the other stuff one needs to do OUTSIDE OF THEIR JOB to EXIST as a human.
I want to make the distinction that I am WAY BETTER NOW THAN I USED TO BE, thanks to my *current* means of employment. The person I work with is also an artist. Together we have strove to create a work environment wherein we both DO WHAT WE WANT TO DO. We create. We created an ecommerce website that sells coins and collectibles (a passion of my collaborator). We are fulfilled… partially.
Frankly, we both are at a point in our lives where WE JUST WANT TO MAKE ART AND STILL HAVE A SAFE AND HEALTHY SPACE TO EXIST. We are starting to articulate WHAT WE WANT TO DO. This website is our platform to create a piece of digital real estate wherein we can post our art and sell it (in multiple forms). We called this website “What Do I Want to Do?” because we feel drawn to doing things that we WANT to do… and we feel repelled by doing things we DON’T want to do. Together, we are exploring THROUGH THE CREATION PROCESS to find out WHAT WE WANT TO DO.
If you have read this far, then obviously something I have said resonates with you. If you are interested in creating with us, please visit the Contact page and fill out the webform. If we all jive, perhaps you may be a great addition to our content creation team. If you are interested in buying art from us or commissioning art (whether it be written word, performance, visual art, or something else), please also visit the Contact page and fill out the webform.
Check back on us because we have some interesting irons in the fire. If you would like to see some of my art, please visit my art website and my music website. If you would like to check out the ecommerce collectibles store that we built, please visit our online coin store. Finally, if you are interested in exploring our humble beginnings, you can visit Anything Anywhere, the non-ecommerce “old school” website that my collaborator began building in 1998, which he has used (and still uses) to sell coins and collectibles via mail order.
Thanks for reading. I hope my words inspire you to think about what it is that you want to do.