I already have volumes and volumes of writing, a huge storage space full of unsold paintings from exhibitions over the last twenty five years, more than 5,000 files with digital collages and artworks... And now, my latest new passionate pursuit - songs and spoken word pieces with musical accompaniment - 75 of them and counting in the last three months.
Why so much?
For starters; I love it. The act of creation. The journey, the exploration, the challenge. It focuses me, seduces and delights, gives me a purpose and a mission.
Creation is my lifeblood, really. My purpose. It is the expression of my being. It is a revealing and celebration of my soul. My time spent making is the most rewarding of the day. And I do it every day. Something is pulled from the air, made up, expressed. I am compelled. Drawn. Called upon.
In that sense, I am lucky because I always have something to do, something that will transport and uplift me.
I do on occasion, however, ask myself: Is it just fluff? An indulgence? A delusion? What purpose does it serve beyond filling in my time? (Cause for the most part it doesn't make me a living. Perhaps it could, if I put some effort into promotion and selling, networking. But I can't. I don't have the drive for administrative or procedural efforts. It is time I could be spending making more new stuff, after all.)
It is not for me to think these things - to question my natural pursuits.
There are many of us. All around the world. Since the birth of our species. Artists and creators who make things not for themselves but because they are compelled. It is a river that flows though humanity. It nourishes the tribe. Not in a practical way, like say the creations of a baker or a cabinet maker, a farmer or a builder will, but in a more ephemeral, deeper, subconscious way. Artists are the keepers of the psyche. The nourishes of the unconscious. Chosen to reflect back and embellish upon the experience of a human in the place and time inhabited. We create an alternative representation of life. We augment, dissect, reprocess, decorate.
It is a blessing and a curse. But the longer you do it, the more it becomes the former. With perspective, things take shape, garner meaning, piece together.
I consider all the wonderful things that have inspired me during my formative years: the books, the films, the artworks, the songs. They helped form me. They nourished. The informed and expanded my awareness. I am grateful for each and every effort made by the artists whose work affected me. I am glad they did what they did. I am glad they went beyond, overcame their personal doubts and depressions and manifested what they did.
And, so, I realise, too, that is my purpose, my function. I am here to serve those who come after. Whatever it is I have to give, it will find a place, plant a seed. One that will grow into the next generation and beyond.
The artist is a vital part of our species' fabric.
I am a thread. I can continue to duck and weave, add colour and texture, glow and shine. Because in my own humble way I am contributing to a wonderful tapestry, a glorious, complex shawl that warms, feeds and protects all our precious, hungry souls from emptiness, mundanity, mediocrity and mindless conformity.