Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why Do You Create

At the age of twenty-one, while living alone in a studio apartment in Chicago and attending graduate school, I created a template for what would eventually become my signature body of artwork. I used oil pastels and butcher paper which I taped to the wall of my apartment to create colorful and whimsical people, animals, and shapes.

The paintings served two purposes, to keep me company in a town where I knew no one and to give me a sense of freedom as I struggled through the strictly controlled environment of graduate school. A year later, after having been kicked out of the writing program and with a massive student loan debt, I decided to use my paintings as a way to repay my student loan debt. A friend of mine told me about a gallery she was connected with, so I unpeeled the butcher paper from the walls, rolled up my paintings with a rubber band, and paid the gallery a visit.

As the year winds to an end, it's important to think about the true purpose of your creative endeavors. Sometimes the reason will change with the season. Sometimes it remains the same. Sometimes the reason belongs to you. Sometimes the reason belongs to your parents. Are you creating just for you? To make money? Because you have something burning up inside of you to say?


  1. how were you in grad school at 21? wow.

  2. I was hatched and then followed the shell fragments to school.