Why Create Art? Or, Wrestling the Muse




We think we understand many of the reasons artists create. For some it’s to access the deepest parts of themselves. For others it’s to find answers to questions that haunt. And for still other performers and visual artists, writers…it’s to connect more profoundly with the larger community.

Yet there is still a mystery that surrounds the creative process itself: Just what is going on in these fertile and visionary minds? What enables a person to take their most personal ideas, challenges, and then stretch, beat and form them into something authentic, new and fine–something that in turn becomes meaningful to others?

This is the question I raised to painter Agostino Arrivabene of Milan, Italy; paper engineer, Matthew Shlian of Michigan, USA; painter Fotini Hamidieli, in Veria, Imathia, Greece; and pop singer-composer, Isolda of London, England.

Here is what they shared:

Agostino Arrivabene

Agostino Arrivabene, Milan, Italy

“I think each of my emotions translates into signs, shapes and colors. Since the beginning I have engraved in myself the technical expertise that is necessary to express my most inner, concealed, and secluded voices.”  

Matthew Shlian

 Matthew Shlian, Michigan, USA

“There is immediacy to paper. You may take a sheet and begin to work, or plan something out methodically. It is a medium with a memory and one with which you can naturally create a dialogue.”

Fotini Hamidieli

Fotini Hamidieli, Painter, Veria, Imathia, Greece

“Whenever my hands itch, I want to work. When an idea is buzzing in my head, then I must. It is time.

Isolda, London

Isolda, singer-songwriter, pianist in London, England

“Composing music for me can be a very concrete way of immortalizing a powerful feeling or event by encoding it into a song. When you hear the song, it can take you right back to that particular moment when you wrote it, what you were feeling, what the weather was like that day, your mood.”



Combustus Managing Editor | + posts

My dream: to create a unique vehicle for artists and visionaries from all genres and all over the globe to inspire and learn from one another.

Leave a Comment