Greetings all, and welcome to another dA discussion!
In my last journal, I asked how the people you know in your immediate reality feel about your art, if they even know about it, and how/if you can use your talents to affect the world around you. altermentality.deviantart.com/…
This question is related, but different: What keeps you drawing at all?
Here's my answer, and I suspect it will sound familiar to many of you: I just have to. I couldn't imagine myself not doing so.
Ever since I was a very small girl, I've been enraptured by cartoons and stylized video games. They were a world I could enter that seemed more fun, more adventurous, liberating, and where people's emotions (given the exaggerated nature of expressions) seemed more intense and true. I always wanted to create worlds and characters like that, and from a very early age I was practicing by reflecting what I already saw. That's right, I was always a fanartist, and some of my earliest stuff was doodles of SNES game heroes, and later on Pokemon and Spongebob in addition to all the animals and mythical creatures I loved to draw.
It helps that people occasionally praised me growing up for my above-average drawing ability - although "ability" is somewhat of a misnomer. I don't think I have any special inborn talent, and my constant struggles with this or that aspect of art offer proof. I've just been dedicated since I can remember, and it's a runaway train I can't stop. Anyway - it helps that I got occasionally praised, but people were far more apt to praise my good grades than my art. In fact, the older I got, the more adults in my life seemed to generally consider my drawing a superfluous diversion at best, a flat-out waste of time at worst.
But I didn't stop. Again, I tell you I could not.
Drawing was too much a part of who I was and how I interacted with the world. As a young girl I was extremely outgoing, but after middle school or so I became intensely shy and reserved, something which I have gradually been growing back out of until the present day. Drawing was one of the main ways I took the colorful world that existed inside my head and showed people who I was, even if people on the internet were sometimes the only people who saw.
As I spoke of in my last journal, drawing has only become more and more important to me throughout the years. College convinced me that my brain was not cut out for academia after all, and I needed to focus on another way I could make an impact on the world. I once dreamed of enlightening people through scholarship, but now I dream of lightening people's moods with the happiness I can bring through my art. I continue to overcome the hurdles of discouragement that still pop up from time to time. In many things, from my social relations to art skill, I sometimes feel like I late bloomer. People younger than me often match or exceed my skill. But I try not to compare myself to others, but only to myself in the past, to see how much I've improved.
So what about you guys? Like I said, I'm sure many of you will have similar answers. However, I have met people on this site who seemed to view drawing as somewhat of a chore that they felt they had to continue because they were good at it, or because it's what they've always done. For those people, I hope they regain their passion (or find something else that fulfills them), and for those who still have it, I hope it's never lost.