I saw my sister draw since I was very little, so I wanted to be as good as her and I drew constantly. I was considered a good artist at school, but then as I got older other kids became better than me in technical skill and I wanted to be as good as them. I suppose I picked up the love of drawing after doing it for so long.
I think inside every child artist is someone who likes the attention. But for me it was about more than that. I can't describe it really but perhaps it was the satisfaction and happiness for myself when I finished a picture I was proud of. And of course a little bit of glee when my picture was better than other people's... The adult attention thing never lasted because it got to a point where people just expect nice work from me, so a new picture was nothing special. I was one of those kids who just did well at stuff, maths, writing, etc so teachers tended to leave me alone because they didn't need to help me.
I've never won a school award for Art, that was always some pushier kid, who ironically is now no longer an artist, and I never got much attention for it until I started studying graphic design, and I naively assumed everyone who wanted to be a designer could draw. I think my teacher got very excited with an illustrator in the class.
Even if I wasn't a professional now I think I'd still draw albeit less often. It makes me wonder what on earth is actually fun about putting a pencil on paper. It's frustrating it makes me angry when it doesn't work the way I want, it makes me so happy and so proud when it does, it's weird what image making can do to you when for other people they never do art of any kind and still live fulfilled lives.
I think about how empty my life would be without Art in it. I wake up I turn on the overnight blog feed see what pictures have been posted while I slept. I check my emails and various ones are art related, I eat breakfast while reading usually an article where someone's rambling about art, then I draw, or look at more art, draw some more, talk about art, maybe make some money off my drawings, eat while drawing, then watch a movie and apreciate the artisty then sleep.
I remember starting Art school and the tutor said that by the end of my education there would not be a moment in my life when I wasn't thinking about Art in some way or another.
She was right. XD
There's nothing wrong with moving on to other things, if you don't enjoy it why do it, but I just find it funny that schools can level so much praise and attention on people in one subject and go on to succeed in another they were ignored in. I was star pupil of the maths department, awards, the lot, and yet there's probably some kid in my class who's now an Engineer or doing a PHD at Oxford or something, and I'm an Artist. So sometimes I wish the maths people found that person and made them better rather than waste their attention on me.
Well if it's any consolation I've known forever about wanting to be an Artist but it still screws me over mentally when I think "how do I actually be an artist and make money" so.. I have the Art bit down, the money bit.. is happening slowly...