This resonated with me today:

James Sturm: The reasons are unimportant

James Sturm is a cartoonist and co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont. He is the author of the best-selling and award-winning graphic novel The Golem’s Mighty Swing, chosen as the Best Graphic Novel of 2000 by Time magazine. In 2007, his trilogy of historical graphic novels was collected in a volume entitled James Sturm’s America: God, Gold, and Golems.

I like the question “Why Do You Make Art?” because it assumes what I do is art. A flattering assumption. The question also takes me back to my freshman year of college, where such questions like “What is nature?” and “Is reality a wave or a circle?” were earnestly debated (usually late at night and after smoking too much weed).

Twenty-five years later I’d like to think I am a little more clear-headed regarding this question. Perhaps the only insight I’ve gained is the knowledge that I have no idea and, secondly, the reasons are unimportant. Depending on my mood, on any given day, I could attribute making art to a high-minded impulse to connect with others or to understand the world or a narcissistic coping mechanism or a desire to be famous or therapy or as my religious discipline or to provide a sense of control or a desire to surrender control, etc., etc., etc.

Whatever the reason, an inner compulsion exists and I continue to honor this internal imperative. If I didn’t, I would feel really horrible. I would be a broken man. So whether attempting to make art is noble or selfish, the fact remains that I will do it nevertheless. Anything past this statement is speculation. I would be afraid that by proclaiming why I make art would be generating my own propaganda