Oscar Dow

Kenyon College

Why do I create?

That’s a question that’s been nagging at me for as long as I can remember. It extends beyond collegiate artmaking, beyond looking for inspiration, beyond art in general.

As a child, I never stopped making, whether the medium was Lego, K’nex, school dioramas, art projects, or simply playing in the leaf piles behind my childhood home, I was always making. The reason why never really crossed my mind though. Maybe I built elaborate cityscapes and electronically operated roller coasters to create a sense of grandeur, or perhaps to grow my imagination. Who knows.

I make things, and in general I don’t really see them as art objects. I see myself as someone who creates in order to fix something, to solve a problem, or to satiate the urge for something’s existence. I feel as though I’ve never truly made ‘art’, rather, I’ve made things in an artistic context. I really enjoy making things that make people smile: that allow for an interaction above that of a simple view. I don’t want the things I make to exist solely as objects, I want them to mean more than they are. That, to me, is the most wonderful part of the human experience, creating things that are greater than the sum of their parts. Allowing the viewer to project their own self onto what I’ve made, thus increasing its meaning to the individual is a precisely why I love making.

But I still don’t know why I create.

But I'm getting there.

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