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Why do I create art?

This morning I was sitting with Katie watching a travelling cook called Nadia and began thinking about my blog and the content I share with you.

I began thinking about ways that I could help you to get to know me better as an artist and ways that I could get to know you better, as fans of my art work. So I typed in to the Google machine “popular blog topics for artists”. What came up was a ton of questions that artists frequently get asked. So, I decided this would be a good place to begin.

The question today is, “why do I create art?”

The answer to this if I’m being honest is to make a living, provide for my family and to solve a problem. Meeting so many wonderful people is great, and I love it dearly, and creating paintings of all different kinds is wonderful too. However, as great as those things are, this is my chosen profession and being a colitis/anxiety sufferer, this line of work allows me to work from home, choose my own schedule and rest when I need to.  It also beats working for someone else or going out to work on cold, wet mornings when I feel like garbage. (I did that for years!)

Making a living

For years and years, like so many, I went out to work in all weathers, worked all kinds of jobs, whilst much of my working life I’ve battled with anxiety and felt like I really didn’t have a clue what the heck I was doing. When I moved to Scotland to take up a position as a youth worker I had time to work on art and found it a good way to relax. As time went on, I found that I became more and more passionate about my art and wanted to develop it.

During the time of being a youth worker and studying for a degree In Theology I thought it would be a good idea to begin a business. 16 hours a day of studying, painting and work for about 3 years, and I was well on the way to a very good established business. I do not advise this for anyone.

Now nearly 14 years since I began this business and I get to work from home. But more than the money, it gives me an opportunity to live in the world of colour that I first enjoyed as a child, create worlds and celebrate characters that are enjoyed by people the world over. It started out as a way just to make a living but then grew into something amazing that I love.

Provide for my family

Families are a blessing. They love us when we are down and share in our joys when we accomplish something. In my opinion it is important for everyone to do their duty within the family unit. Ours as husband and wife is to work, bring in an income to build our home and eventually have a family.

We also teach together. When the kid’s class was established Katie (thankfully) came to join me in the running of the sessions. We both have very unique skills and strengths in different areas which makes for a more exciting class.

To solve a problem

Many people in this world rush through life and have so much going on that the thought of getting time to create something colourful and unique is way outside their mind set. When I found that people loved my art, not only as something lovely to look at but as an instant get away from the stress they were facing, I began to think more about the colours I used, how it would affect those who saw it and what I could do to decrease stress in people lives through my art work.

You’ll notice that the colours I use are either rich and deep or soft and tranquil. Mountain scenes, seascapes and landscapes have always been a joy to paint, mainly because of the ability to create a world within a world. A world that people who are struggling in life can enjoy and escape from the battles of day to day life for just a short time and lose themselves in a world of colour and fantasy.

So why do I create art? It’s my passion, profession and love. Working from home means I work more hours and many of them unsociable, but it fits into my way of life and it’s a profession that everything can work around.


  1. Elke Lange on December 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Hi John,

    I truly enjoyed reading your letter, because it is written from the heart and very honest.
    You are blessed, because y have chosen a beautiful way to make a living, even though it’s hard at times.
    I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas time and a successful New Year.
    Best regards

  2. cindy freland on December 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    Great post john. I paint to create a fantasy world and color too. Keep up the awesome work.

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