For me, being an artist is a kind of crushing necessity. There’s no quenching it, no dealing with it. It’s never over; it just is. Like dreaming, like breathing.
It has to be. It’s not logical – this making something from nothing. Translating the whisperings of the universe. There’s rarely money in it. It’s never perfect. It takes desire, perseverance, skill – and that’s if you don’t even care if anyone else likes it. Creating art isn’t a question or a wondering. It’s a have to. The pull of something bigger than you. It’s not exactly an addiction (although it can be addictive), it’s not a business (although it can be a business), it’s not even fun (although it can be fun).
Are artistic tendencies simply human ones? Do they sprout up out of some kind of neurodiversity? I would love to be a different kind of artist – create pictures or music that make me feel the way my words do. But you’ve got to get cool with your medium. Because either way, whether you paint with words, fire, sound, or something else – making art isn’t usually a choice. It’s just who you are.
Know your strengths – build on them. Get cool with your medium. I paint with words. I also paint with paint, but I don’t make art, just mess :p
Jolene is an autistic writer, speaker, and parent.
Since her 2018 TEDx Talk going public with her diagnosis, Jolene has been inspiring corporates, communities, and global giant IBM with her fresh and exciting perspective on autism.
Ultra-enthusiastic author and TEDx speaker Jolene Stockman is tangata whaitakiwatanga (autistic). This fast-talking, big thinking Kiwi is excited to empower autistics – and the neurotypicals who love them – with her vision of the world. Jolene lives in Aotearoa, New Zealand.