David Crawford- DMC - ART OR DIE

For the entirety of my life I dabbled in art. Sometimes I gave it good efforts but most of the time I was unable to slow my brain down enough to apply myself. I would progress and then regress after a hiatus. That cycle and the inability for me to focus enough to TRULY learn anything left me in a state of chronic frustration.
Insecurity and feelings of inadequacy played a huge part as well. It is difficult to apply myself with that type of nagging in my own head…”if i do this and people reject it…this is gonna f#$%ing hurt!” The bottom line is art requires emotional vulnerability. I simply wasn’t capable of that until relatively recently. It is tough to admit but if you don’t feel good about yourself in general then how could you ever feel good about things you create?
Eventually I made some of the worst choices humanly possible and put myself in prison. The silver lining is that I got older and matured enough to finally get a grip on life. It only took until I was past 30 and a decade into doing 28 to life in the klink. Better late than never. It’s art or die for me.
During that time I got over 250 hours of tattoo work done on myself and learned how to apply them as well. I drew a lot of dumb shit for people (tattooed a lot of dumb shit on people too!). It worked out though because that got the ol` art ball rolling.
I never tattooed very seriously even though aptitude was there and eventually wasn’t doing it at all. One day a friend told me to quit screwing around and do art work for real. She said she could hear the passion I had for it when we spoke. For some reason I finally listened. I was finally at the right place in my life to give it a proper try.
I stumbled into oil painting and fell in love with it. The emotional connection was immediate and I have been pursuing multiple mediums ever since.
The feeling I get when I do a memorial portrait is a complete validation of what art can do. The capturing of the essence of a person in a moment in time for someone who really connects with it is priceless. I get to give something back to the world when I do any successful piece.
I know how art makes me feel and I know I love the process of creating my own. It has changed me for the better. Therefore I deem it a worthy pursuit.
I feel value, beauty and passion through creating and I have been lucky enough to share that connection with other people by sharing art.
So everyday I pursue art in some form. Drawing, painting, playing music…even if i’m just staring at some cool ass picture attempting to will myself into learning how to reproduce it or hoping osmosis somehow works for me…i am pursuing it. I have to. It is like swimming for a shark. They swim or they die…so it’s art or die for me.