Portrait of a Conflicted Artist

by - 19:37

It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing. {Mother Teresa}

I still can't believe I drew the one above; I think the immense amount of free time helped (this was done during my year-long break from school in 2008, prior to university); and I admit I cheated a bit (I used a grid for this one; I copied it from an ad in Dubai's Friday magazine); but still, looking at this drawing just makes me wonder why I don't do leisure drawings like these anymore.

Sometimes I worry that I'm not really being an artist in the sense that I'm not creating as much as I think an artist should. I've only been able to produce three gigantic A3-size portfolios of artworks because my Art class in high school required me to do so... but that was more than five years ago. Now, even though I love art to bits, I'm barely doing art, even when I have time. I think it has something to do with the fact that I'm highly insecure of the art that I do.

For starters, I'm not sure it's original. Sure, people tell me I'm good at art, but originality plays a big part, especially in the chaotic art world today. There was a time I didn't really care (which led me to do insane detailed work like the one above); until it suddenly dawned upon me that if I were to become a successful artist and have a successful exhibit one day, I'd have to be original. Portraits weren't/ aren't exactly recent innovations. 

I recently attempted to do another detailed pseudo-portrait, but I stopped because I didn't like the way it was turning out on the paper:

For another, there's the problem of my subjects: faeries. I love drawing faeries, I absolutely adore them (if you haven't noticed yet). But in the world today, who else does? (I'm hoping such a drastic question won't eventually lead me to abandon faeries altogether). Please permit me to show you a favorite work of mine:

I still get giddy with happiness every time I look at that drawing. 

I still do art for fun of course, but I really should keep doing art for art's sake; for myself. Although I do envy those who do art with no end in mind other than to simply do art, at least when I myself draw or paint, I'm happy because it's precisely what I love to do. I may be affected by things like quantity of artworks, originality (ironic, given that I'm afraid to experiment), potential financial value (in my defense, I'm living in what I think is a capitalist society; it's not that difficult to be affected by such things, especially when money is undeniably necessary for one to support a family)... but it's nonetheless a compensation that I'm still doing what I love to do, and I think that's what matters the most. 

What do you think?

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