I was on fire on Twitter tonight (talking about ten thousand things). But I thought this would be a good topic for Tumblr as well.
Most people online only recognise me as an artist, someone who posts art and comics, and someone who only talks about art and comics. That’s what they expect when they come to my blog and twitter and whatever else. And that’s the crutch I always use when I introduce myself to people (since I am also conditioned to think that’s the most interesting thing about me). Honestly though, that’s not all I am. Or who I really am. I actually spend very little time drawing or sketching, in comparison to the time I spend focusing on my education (I study in a world-class non-art university, Bachelor of Science) and the pursuit of knowledge, and taking care of myself by going out and absorbing the world. Actually, throughout my life, I’ve always been half-arts and half-science; it’s never been one or the other. I just love both things!! And they don’t have to be mutually exclusive! My main interests are psychology and understanding the role that consciousness plays in the development and arousal of spirituality, the study of religion (anthropological, social and cultural), interfaith dialogue and cultural history, alongside my big love for astrophysics (even if I can’t do the math).
I don’t draw everyday. I used to, as a teen, I used to post 30 full drawings a month, but when I had to study for my second national high school exams (before my third and final one, before proceeding to an international college-level exam) I fell to the wayside. It made me feel inadequate. Sometimes I think that, if I had spent more time in art, I would have kept up with many of my art colleagues rn. I would have gotten more work (oh hey I am always available for hire). I have difficulty reconciling the expectation (mine and others) about a career in art, and the growing realisation that I want to see myself doing a non-art project, more than I see myself working in art. But after having done this for years I can take things into perspective: I get to be well-rounded. I get to learn a lot of things, all of which are VALUABLE to my creativity. I learn more about myself, and am not insulated into a single environment talking about a single thing, in which bad habits might grow. Sure, I’m slow, I don’t post on the blog a lot. But it’s OK. It’s possible to live a non-art life and still be an artist. But that decision is on you, not on what other people think based on a set of arbitrary standards.
tl;dr: You don’t have to draw 24/7 or sacrifice your life and other non-art
interests in order to be seen as a valuable, worthy, “real” artist. You
already are, just for enjoying what you make, just for trying, no matter
how little you do so.