Why do I/You paint?

Why do I paint?

I’ve often asked myself this. Why do I create paintings, drawings and write?

It’s mostly addiction.

Not to the process of creating itself, because I personally have taken breaks from the creative process before. But addicted to that strange and often horrible feeling afterwards.

That feeling of euphoria that you’ve created something from your imagination and put it down on canvas sucessfully. Nothing can replace that feeling. You’ve made something from scratch and it’s all you. Your brain child. A part of your soul that you get out of yourself and share with the world – regardless of if you actually show anyone or not, it’s still there.

Yet there is also that horrible emotion that you actually feel utterly rubbish at everything you do and you’ll never get something looking right or how you’d like it. You’ve failed your brain child by making them something that doesn’t look perfect.

Then there is turning that emotion into a positive force that makes you try all over again.

It’s an addictive process really. I don’t know if every creative person feels this way about creating whatever it is they create or if it’s just my underlaying lack of self confidence and / or esteem, but I feel this way about a lot of the things that I put my creative mentality towards. Be it painting abstract art, drawing characters for others and myself, or hobby modelling. I look at what I have done afterward it is finished and rarely feel happy with what I have done.

I know for professionals it’s a part of their working life, illustrators have to create because it’s how they get paid. Fine artists create to impress galleries in order to showcase their art and sell paintings or to get private commissions. (This is a grand generalisation I know) I never really got along too well with the pressure I feel in either of these stances, so I can’t say that I paint for the money.

Yet a day or so after the feeling of dejection fades and I want to pick it all up and start over again. Maybe I am just a sucker for punishment! I don’t know if this is the real reason that I paint, but it is a part of it certainly. That drive to want to better myself in the craft I’m working on. Maybe I just paint for myself.

I’d love to hear other peoples thoughts on this question.
Why do you paint?