To make money, bad sole reason for creativity.

Someone recently asked me what I do.  And after thinking for a few seconds I replied “I’m a writer, and newly minted webcomic artist, but really I want to be a kind of multi-discipline artist.” After I explained what I meant by that, and that it wasn’t a reference to my predilection for leather whips, and steel chains, they asked my least favorite question ever.

“Why?”

This was followed seconds later by another one I don’t like.

“How’ll you make a living at that?”

Okay quick explanation is probably in order. I love writing, I write this blog mostly just for fun, and as a way to improve my writing by sheer practice. But writing isn’t enough for me. I want to draw, I want to make films, I want to play music, I want to write music, sculpt, design things, make things. But I want to do all of those things well. Not just half-ass them. I want to take time to master them all, one by one.

Why do I want to do all of those things?

Because I love to create. More than that, did you notice anything about all of those art-forms? Like maybe the fact that they can all be used to tell stories? That’s what I love most, I love to tell a story. I love to sweep someone up, show them somewhere else, and then put them back down with a smile on their faces. I wrote my first novel for my own pleasure, but it let me discover the sheer joy of seeing other people enjoying something I created.

I didn’t do it to make money. Though Goddesses willing someday it might just let me afford a really, really good cup of coffee.

That’s the thing. I honestly believe that doing anything just to make money is a bad idea. You work in a shitty, entry-level job with no promotion prospects to make money. But you should never do something you love purely to make money. Making money from something you love is always the dream, but more often than not you’ll do something you hate, for the funds to be able to do that thing you love. So making money from my art would be a bonus. The second layer of icing on a cake that’s already delicious, and moist, with a thick layer of icing already in place.

“How’ll you make a living at that?”

I don’t know. I honestly don’t. I have a few inklings of ideas. But nothing that can become reality unless people actually like what I do, get joy from what I do, have thoughts, and ideas of their own triggered by my creations.

So whether I “make it” or not. (Gods I hate that phrase) I’ll keep storytelling because it’s what I love to do. And who knows someday those stories might pay the bills. But if they don’t, I’ll still have the happiness that comes with doing something I love.

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2 Comments to “To make money, bad sole reason for creativity.”

  1. Yep, you’re pretty much reading my mind there. And I’ve gotta say that, in comparison to getting to do what you love all day, making money is seriously overrated.

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