During my Masters I contacted number of professional artists to ask for advice about my chosen career. Paul Astbury‘s response has always stuck with me, as it struck a cord to how I feel about my work and myself. I have found this quite very inspirational.
‘First you have to really believe in yourself, your work and what you are doing, like a mission – like it is the whole meaning of your life and existence and cannot think of anything else you would rather do more than explore your own mind, like exploring a huge mansion full of unending mysterious rooms. To each of these rooms is a key and this is where thinking process comes in, deciding what you want to express in your work. Not an easy thing to pursue either but one has to treat it all like a great big exciting adventurous journey. There will be difficulties but part of the pleasure is in overcoming these and understanding the rooms and all the ideas they contain. The mind is a tremendous thing – it is everything – it is where you find yourself and who you really are. Be true to your work, true to yourself and you will be well on the way to being an artist – nothing will stop you. Don’t expect it to bring you riches – that’s not the point – the point is to discover yourself.’
– Extract from email conversation with artist Paul Astbury (April 2009).