"Why I Write"
I don't know how I became an artist. Only that I am. It's like: How did I become a man? I was just born into it or as one. It's in my blood (nature) and in my environment (nurture).
Everyone is born as an artist. Children have a natural-born impulse towards creativity. I just kept mine along the way into adulthood. I was given opportunities to and the encouragement to do so. I didn't really choose it (to initiate it) so much as I chose to continue at it or to keep it. Everyone in my family is an artist; I am no exception.
Verbal art was more by my own choice than the visual art ever was. I started writing more seriously for myself since I was 13 for a therapeutic release, as an outlet for self-help and reflection. My mother stole my journal/diary and was pissed-off by its contents and confronted me about it. That's when I knew my writing could move people and have an impact (for good or ill but preferably for good).
I used to watch the Daily Show with Jon Stewart at that age and his passionate political ramblings moved me not just by their content or word choices alone but by their beat and sound: the phonetics: how it just rolled off the tongue like a fiery sword. I wanted to speak like that someday: not just to sound good but to make sense. I practiced. I wrote his words down to get their feel. I wrote song lyrics I liked. I imitated the same as an artist in school copies dead masters' paintings ...until eventually I wrote my own original content. It sucked. I got better. I suck less.
Nothing is as rewarding to me as writing something I like. People praise my paintings and I don't care. That does nothing for me. Thanks, no thanks. But the joy of writing itself and reading it to myself and knowing it is good, fills my veins with electricity, with revelry. That is maybe why I never tried hard, and often not at all, to publish much, if any of it. The making it was the real satisfaction.
I keep at visual art to draw attention to my writings, after the matter, hopefully; because it's easy to get people to look but hard to get them to read or to listen. So little time people want to give or share… or make.
Sometimes art is fun but it is not my primary passion or where I feel my true talent lies.
With art I often begin with the end in mind and sometimes I change it along the way; but with writing, it is like going on an adventure to unknown lands in uncharted territory. I get swept-up away in it and it's like I am watching myself write and I don’t know what I am going to say next but then when, and if, I do, it moves so fast that my hand can hardly keep up. Yet at other times while writing, the idea is instant. Language takes that short burst and breaks it down into something long. The thought comes complete and whole, then is translated through the tongue.
The art is more of an addiction. The writing is more of an impulse.
Though I often write about art, I can quit neither; but if I had to choose one, I'd choose to be an author over an artist.
But we are all artists anyway and even writing is a literary art, a verbal art.