Can someone tell me what Passion is ?
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    Can someone tell me what Passion is ?

    I cant help but to wonder what it means to have passion for something. I have researched it and read up on it and still have no idea if its a distinct feeling people get when they do something, or what.

    I keep coming back to art knowing it is the main thing I want to do - but when I do it it agitates me and stresses me out - unless I relax and accept that I suck atm. Its like I want to be able to do this and that, create monsters and characters, but my skill level puts pressure on me until i no longer enjoy it - then Im just drudging along. I take this response to mean I may not enjoy it as much as I need to. Perhaps its just the undue stress and ocd..

    Its something that's blocking my way to committing myself to art entirely - this talk about passion. I'm afraid to say, I just don't understand what people mean when they talk about it.

    Can anyone possibly help me understand what passion is ?


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    Sae

    help and crits desired

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    If you gotta ask, you ain't never gonna know.

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    Passion is not a want, passion is like breathing, and I'm not being poetic.

    Passion is part drive, desire, vision, need, that gives you no choice but to DO.

    Much, like breathing is to live, passion is something stronger than addiction because in some way, you'll ALWAYS have a passion. Even if you burn out, unconsciously you'll do that thing you've been training yourself to do in some form of manner.

    It's apart of who you are.

    (Damn that sounded more poetic than I wanted).

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    Passion is not a want, passion is like breathing, and I'm not being poetic.

    Passion is part drive, desire, vision, need, that gives you no choice but to DO.

    Much, like breathing is to live, passion is something stronger than addiction because in some way, you'll ALWAYS have a passion. Even if you burn out, unconsciously you'll do that thing you've been training yourself to do in some form of manner.

    It's apart of who you are.

    (Damn that sounded more poetic than I wanted).
    Edit : Sounds like my passion is watching TV and playing video games.

    help and crits desired

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    Then there's where your passion is.

    No one will hold it against you. Being in a creative field isn't easy nor is it really fun (unless you like the process of gaining step by step and also effing up step by step) until you start producing instead of trial and error and leaning towards error less than not.

    All creative fields (IMHO) are triathlons X5! and that's just the beginning of learning.

    There's always another path. This one may not be it for you.

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    Sorry, but this was inevitable. . .



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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeaie View Post
    Its something that's blocking my way to committing myself to art entirely - this talk about passion. I'm afraid to say, I just don't understand what people mean when they talk about it.
    Because most of the time, it doesn't mean a damned thing. It's an annoying buzzword that I'm sick of hearing. "_____ is my passion." OH PUH-LEASE. Shut up and show me. Nobody cares how "passionate" you are about something if the work still sucks, and if the work is great, that's what people care about.


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    Its just that when I hear people say how passionate they are, it puts the image in my head of them blissfully enthralled in the experience moment-by-moment without the least frustration or agitation. Perhaps Im right, or wrong.

    Evidently according to some of these posts, passion is indeed a blissful state not rattled by the conditions of the dreaded J.O.B. To me I nearly wing my sketchbook out a window when I cant get a perspective piece working. I suppose that may still count as passion - just not the kind Im after.

    It also probably doesn't help that I am impatient, and art is not friendly to the impatient.

    help and crits desired

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeaie View Post
    Its just that when I hear people say how passionate they are, it puts the image in my head of them blissfully enthralled in the experience moment-by-moment without the least frustration or agitation.
    See, there's your problem. Passion and bliss are most certainly not synonyms! Remember, one of the meanings of passion is suffering. Passion is dangerous, and always riding on the edge of disaster. (And this is why most of the people who throw the word around so cavalierly are full of shit.)
    If you didn't care, you wouldn't be frustrated.


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    You are not born with passion! It develops over time with work and nurturing. Most people who say they are passionate about art have not done enough art to know what passion is. It builds with every failure and every success. Passion has become one of those words that rings hollow because too many people who profess their passion have no clue what it is. Forget passion and work until your finders bleed. OK that's a little over the top, but you know what I mean.

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    Tristan Elwell
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    Read this:
    http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html

    The latter parts deal with the problem you're talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeaie View Post
    Its just that when I hear people say how passionate they are, it puts the image in my head of them blissfully enthralled in the experience moment-by-moment without the least frustration or agitation. Perhaps Im right, or wrong.
    No, that's just in movies. Being really passionate about something would mean coming back to it again and again and again even though half the time it's frustrating or grueling or yes, even tedious... When there's something you just can't let go of in spite of the fact that it's driving you nuts most of the time.

    This is exactly what I was trying to get at in that other thread about relevant careers... People think they're "passionate" about things just because they enjoy them. No. You're "passionate" about something if you keep feeling the drive to do it in spite of the fact that you might not be "enjoying" it half the time.

    (Not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorders where you have the irresistable urge to do things you aren't even interested in and definitely don't want to do...)

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    Actually, what you should probably be asking is not how "passionate" you are about making art, but how interested are you in making art? Interested enough to put in years of hard work? Interested enough to spend years doing it for a living in situations where you won't always be doing the fun stuff you want to do? Or are you only interested in it as a hobby, doing it whenever you feel like it? Because that's what it's going to come down to in the end, passion or not.

    And it's okay to just make art your hobby, if that's the limit of your interest.

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    Think of that story with Socrates and someone who wanted to be wise and whatnot. Guy walks up to him, asking for Socrates to teach him how to be wise. Socrates leads him to a river and asks the hopeful what he sees. Said hopeful gives his answer and Socrates plunges his head in the water till the guy can't breath. Socrates lifts the guy's head out of the water and asks him what he wanted more than anything else at that moment, the guy answering "to breath, more than anything else". Socrates replies with something like "When your desire for wisdom is more than your want to breath, you'll find wisdom."

    Passion is a little something like that.

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    My personal view of passion, and it may have very little to do with what a dictionary describes, is a bit like a burning.
    I can't fully explain it, I feel it is sort of like love or hate, or rather love and hate. My words can't do my thoughts justice, but I'll try.

    Not to pry but have you ever been in a relationship? And I'm talking about a longer relationship, where you share just about everything. By that point you should have felt passion. Where there are days when you cannot stand each other, and you ponder just running away. You fight over dumb things, and you want to just escape the stress; but when you see that person smile you lose all thoughts and are lost in loving them- the moments when you reach for their hand, or laugh together so loud and hard the rest of the world no longer matters. When you feel sick when that person is away, and sometimes you forget you even lived before they came into your life.

    that mix of love and hate with need is what I find to be passion.
    I often feel as though I have married art, so thinking about it in it's similarity to a relationship helps.

    I would also bring up passion as a feeling of almost nausea if you don't "do it". When that "creative" bug hits, I NEED to release it. It's not even a want to; I am haunted by whatever it is i need to create. I sometimes can't sleep, I can't concentrate on anything else, and I think about the project even when I'm far away. This happens on only rare occasions, but when it does, I need to release the pressure. It's not that I am happy doing it; but it's more of a need.

    As I said I can't really give the feelings justice through my limited vocabulary, and I don't think everyone experiences passion in the same way. This is my view on it, and my experience with the passion. Being passionate is not always bliss, but its more a feeling of "being alive"- a massive, sometimes overwhelming sensation of emotions. Happiness/ bliss/ peace is just occasionally one of many emotions in the concoction of various feelings that make passion.

    honestly after writing all of this, I feel like passion often sucks. And now I need to go make something. Thanks... sigh, oh sleepless night here I come.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elwell View Post
    See, there's your problem. Passion and bliss are most certainly not synonyms! Remember, one of the meanings of passion is suffering. Passion is dangerous, and always riding on the edge of disaster. (And this is why most of the people who throw the word around so cavalierly are full of shit.)
    If you didn't care, you wouldn't be frustrated.

    I like you, Elwell.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    You are not born with passion! It develops over time with work and nurturing. Most people who say they are passionate about art have not done enough art to know what passion is. It builds with every failure and every success. Passion has become one of those words that rings hollow because too many people who profess their passion have no clue what it is. Forget passion and work until your finders bleed. OK that's a little over the top, but you know what I mean.
    I see your point. Thank you for your wisdom.

    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Read this:
    http://www.paulgraham.com/love.html

    The latter parts deal with the problem you're talking about.
    I've read this before. I recall the part that explains that passion for a subject is not the same as wanting to get a cup of coffee or watch a TV show. Was just curious about what many of you think passion means.

    Quote Originally Posted by themegagod View Post
    My personal view of passion, and it may have very little to do with what a dictionary describes, is a bit like a burning.
    I can't fully explain it, I feel it is sort of like love or hate, or rather love and hate. My words can't do my thoughts justice, but I'll try.

    Not to pry but have you ever been in a relationship? And I'm talking about a longer relationship, where you share just about everything. By that point you should have felt passion. Where there are days when you cannot stand each other, and you ponder just running away. You fight over dumb things, and you want to just escape the stress; but when you see that person smile you lose all thoughts and are lost in loving them- the moments when you reach for their hand, or laugh together so loud and hard the rest of the world no longer matters. When you feel sick when that person is away, and sometimes you forget you even lived before they came into your life.

    that mix of love and hate with need is what I find to be passion.
    I often feel as though I have married art, so thinking about it in it's similarity to a relationship helps.

    I would also bring up passion as a feeling of almost nausea if you don't "do it". When that "creative" bug hits, I NEED to release it. It's not even a want to; I am haunted by whatever it is i need to create. I sometimes can't sleep, I can't concentrate on anything else, and I think about the project even when I'm far away. This happens on only rare occasions, but when it does, I need to release the pressure. It's not that I am happy doing it; but it's more of a need.

    As I said I can't really give the feelings justice through my limited vocabulary, and I don't think everyone experiences passion in the same way. This is my view on it, and my experience with the passion. Being passionate is not always bliss, but its more a feeling of "being alive"- a massive, sometimes overwhelming sensation of emotions. Happiness/ bliss/ peace is just occasionally one of many emotions in the concoction of various feelings that make passion.

    honestly after writing all of this, I feel like passion often sucks. And now I need to go make something. Thanks... sigh, oh sleepless night here I come.
    When I have run away from art before (which I have done more than a few times), I feel this void, like I need to be drawing. At the same time I don't want to -- I feel like doing it but it may have me so agitated that I am physically repulsed by the thought of putting a pencil to a blank page. Is this what you mean

    help and crits desired

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    double post.

    help and crits desired

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    Quote Originally Posted by QueenGwenevere View Post
    (Not to be confused with obsessive-compulsive disorders where you have the irresistable urge to do things you aren't even interested in and definitely don't want to do...)
    Hard to tell the difference sometimes, eh, Q?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeaie View Post
    Edit : Sounds like my passion is watching TV and playing video games.
    Dear, Saeaie

    The problem is not in understanding the definition of passion. You won't magically get passionate about something just because you learned what passion means. Also, just because you suck at something, doesn't mean you don't have the passion.

    When one has sex with a person, one may not love her or him to enjoy the sex. One may play tons of video games and watch a whole lot of TV, but feel like it's not the thing to do with his or her one life. Notice that these activities are which beings of lesser intelligence would have been satisfied with, a bug would mate with another bug and be satisfied, so the question of love would presumably never arise.

    Thus, I'd like to classify two types of passion, "intellectual passion" and "instinctual passion".

    Intellectual passion is something you want to achieve from reason and will, something that we are not born into but is nurtured out of, something "artificial" and long term, such as becoming a musician or a mathematician. We're not built to do things over and over again after not being rewarded the first couple of times, and long term intellectual passions is such a case. If you did a bad drawing, your brain won't reward you for that drawing, but after thousands of drawings, you might start to compare your recent works to others or the works from your past and notice how far you have come for your brain to finally reward you. This is what I mean by a long term satisfaction.

    Instinctual passion is the passion which resides in all of us, that is, our natural animal instincts built into our DNA; the desire for face-value, quick satisfactions carried out as sex, watching TV, drugs, drinking, etc. Our instinctual passion is stronger than our intellectual passion, especially when we're young; when we still have a lot to experience and learn. With experience, you can suppress your instinctual passions, e.g., I used to eat a lot of sugary and fried foods, they're tasty because we are built to like these kind of foods, but I have educated myself to stop eating them. Then there is a development of guilt, which results from discipline or temperance, from surrendering to doing things which you know you should not be doing.

    So, you may be passionate about watching TV or playing video games as a shortcut to satisfaction, but that is only because it is genetically part of us; something we are all born with. Intellectual passion is not born within us, we were never born with a will to become a musician or a mathematician; we weren't built entirely for long term satisfactions. The strength of the will to carry out the long term satisfaction determines the level of your intellectual passion, and ultimately skill. The key to keeping on track on a long term satisfaction is keeping in your head, always, your goal for this one life you will ever live.

    I used to play video games a lot and watch TV. But as life progresses, they will become less and less important. From personal experience, discipline and temperance is the key. Discipline is something that will grow on you, the more discipline you force yourself to become each day, the more normal it becomes. To define discipline more clearly, it is the state of character where one is less susceptible to instinctual passions.

    Discipline can be developed as a result of a lower tolerance level of rewarding mechanisms of your brain(other factors may also contribute). Your brain has a tolerance level for dopamine, the neurotransmitter that rewards you for what you do. The lower the tolerance level, the lesser the feat you will have to accomplish to become satisfied to a point where you can become satisfied with even a bad drawing; just knowing you have drawn will be of enough satisfaction. The higher the dopamine tolerance, the more dopamine you need to get a "high" from doing anything. Procrastination, the tendency to take shortcut satisfactions inflates this dopamine level faster, such as taking cocaine. The more cocaine you do, the more you need to do the next time to get that next high(you have become spoiled). Higher tolerance level leads to spoiling you from pursuing intellectual passions, especially since you will find it significantly less rewarding to do a bad drawing than to play video games.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Here is something I have replied to another thread and I thought you might be interested(some things may be repeated):

    "You can get a degree in something else and still have time to make art. Stop playing video games or watching kittens and puppies on Youtube. You can go get a degree in art, but that doesn't guarantee you anything if you slack off.

    At most, getting a degree other than in art forces you to do more things. After having spent hours doing school work, you will start to get a sense of how valuable time is, and you will want to start drawing already. I know I have. I want to draw every time after knowing that part of my days are devoted purely to doing non-art homework, daily. This method only works if you get a degree in something other than art, but at the same time is a subject you are passionate about.

    Most of the time people slack off because they are given too much time. I have slacked off a lot of times in summer when there was no school. It is until school began, then I realized how little time I have, so I worked harder.

    Once you begin to slack off for one day, you will begin to feel your laziness. After several days, you can't help but procrastinate all of the time; you get spoiled from previous procrastinations. Procrastination is the rewarding of yourself for doing things that tend to reward instantaneously, such as watching T.V. or playing video games; the brain releases dopamine anytime you reward yourself. Your brain grows tolerant to new levels of dopamine, and so the next day, you might have a tendency to procrastinate even more to get the same "high"; thus it's a downward slope for procrastination. So limit yourself to one video of puppies per day.

    One of the most important life lessons for me is coming to understand how important time is. Close to death encounter helps. If you have ever been hospitalized for anything, you might have laid there thinking about the time wasted on the hospital bed and how it could have been better used. When you're young, you feel like you can live forever, but that will change; time stops for no one.

    Another important thing to keep in mind, everyday, is a goal. You tend to work harder if you have a goal because you will know the general direction you want to head, so it is easier to get started in general. By a goal, I mean a dream, or something you want to make out of your one life; don't procrastinate it away, life is rare in the universe.

    Here are some newly additions:

    Long story short, if you take heroine, you're going to get tired of sex; however, if you have the determination, discipline, willpower, passion, and etc, you can rise above the state of your heightened, potential worthlessness and still become a sex maniac. Replace heroine with video games, and sex with painting and drawing, which are activities at a lesser degree but of which nonetheless have the same analogy. Playing video games rewards your brain with dopamine more than making crappy drawings, so your brain involuntarily conditioned you to like playing video games, but with will power, discipline, and etc you can break out of this conditioning.

    Another advice I want to give you is to make good friends. Friends who are preferably disciplined, determined, and have will power; strong minded fellows. Good friends may often inspire you to achieve more, rather than bad friends who will provide the wrong influences, such as play video games with you all day, or even worst, force you to drink alcohol and smoke pot.

    Drawing is difficult because we have not been evolutionarily predisposed with genes to draw, but thanks to the plasticity of your brain, you can nurture yourself to draw. Furthermore, you will hardly be satisfied with your nubile works, and you may not be satisfied even after your very last painting because you know you can always improve, because you have an ideal you want to achieve. Every time you make a crappy drawing, just remember that talent is not born, but nurtured through determination, willpower, discipline, and etc. The key thing is to be optimistic, and keep in mind your goal, your vision. From time to time, you might experience your brain craving for more video games or watch TV. I get those everyday I come home from school, "It's time to relax" my brains says. If your vision of your goal is keen, everything such as video games become more irrelevant with the passing days of you ignoring your brain's temptation to persuade you to procrastinate, and you have become a person with more disciplined; when you can't push yourself any more, you just need to push yourself a bit more to become more disciplined.

    Lastly, speaking of ideals, most often people are not satisfied with their works are due to their failed pursuit of a particular style. This style is a vision they have for themselves, a goal, so to speak. This relates to "model learning", a method to make yourself to work harder. What this involves is to establish an ideal style, specifically by an artist you really like; an artist with a style you want to achieve in some way(of course, you can still add your own pizazz to the style). Learn how hard the artist works, and even what supplies he uses, as long as it gets you to start drawing, then its working. Quite frankly, the only way you will ever surpass your idealized artists, is if you work as hard as they do or even harder.
    "

    Last edited by Vay; December 12th, 2012 at 01:21 AM.
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    Trying to write a book or something, Vay?

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    OmenSpirits is offline Commercial-Illustrator in-training, NOT an artist. Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    That cut&paste at its best!

    "Everything must serve the idea. The means used to convey the idea should be the simplest and clear. Just what is required. No extra images. To me this is a universal principle of art. Saying as much as possible with a minimum of means."
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    I didn't think Id get a logical answer to my question - but wow, you guys provided me with excellent responses.

    Glad you wrote that long post up for me, Vay. Read it all. I felt a lot of what you wrote myself but I needed to read it in words from someone else to really internalize it.

    I will be referring to this thread for months*years to come. I can relate to a lot of what you guys have posted. Its much appreciated.

    Any more discussion on the topic of Passion is welcomed, but I think I found the answers I was looking for. Thanks guys.

    help and crits desired

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeaie View Post
    Can anyone possibly help me understand what passion is ?
    This is PASSION



    …it's all about carrots and sticks.

    Last edited by bill618; December 12th, 2012 at 08:53 AM.
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    Wow, thanks for asking the question Saeaie and thanks to everyone who replied. I feel I got a lot out of this by reading the replies in this thread! Vay, when's your book coming? I'd like to read it.


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    Motivation makes you go.
    Passion makes you run.

    Grinnikend door het leven...
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    Van that was a lot of thinking and writing, but for me it just doesn't ring true. It is far to calculated and clinical - too much B.F. Skinner I think.
    From my experience Passion is much more visceral and much less cerebral that all that.
    to my way of thinking Passion in the opposite, the antithesis of love. (but this does not mean it is a bad thing!)
    Let me explain what I mean by asking you all to look at the words we often use in conjunction with passion. Words like Consumed, burning, devoured - all words we also use in conjunction with fire. Passion is fire. As with all fires it requires fuel. Passion's fuel is you. Passion consumes you wholly and completely. It burns you up until there is nothing left it devours you.
    If you have not seen it the film 91/2 weeks is a good lesson in what passion can do to a personal relationship.
    there is no discipline, can be no discipline, where there is passion – passion is like a force of nature.
    Now let us look at the words we often use in conjunction with love. Words like blossom, grow, deep.
    If passion is fire, love is a forest. It does not consume it expands. It grows bigger and deeper and more intricate as time passes - the opposite of passion which remains narrow and focused on one thing.
    However, in the life of all forests a period, or periods, of burning - forest fires - are necessary for renewal and continued growth. Thus Passion has its purpose and use: to initiate, and/or renew love.
    This is contrary to how most think of passion. For most passion is good thing, a thing they desire and seek out. I think it is wiser to cultivate love than seek desire - in all areas of life.

    Now none of this matters a whip really, just stop putting it off, and delaying, and postponing with all this feigned ‘confusion’ about your motivations and just draw!
    To quote an old Jedi master, “DO, or DO NOT – there is no TRY” In other words Failure is just the opportunity to succeed. Stop fussing and just DRAW dammit everything else will work itself out.

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    Silliness aside, I think passion is all about self-discipline, willpower, and enduring pain.

    I may be wrong though, I'm too young to know such things.

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    (Damn that sounded more poetic than I wanted).[/QUOTE]

    lmao , As i sit in a darkly lit room and see you on stage with a soft spotlight on you and you whisper your poetic words into the mic, I feel the need to write a big free hugs sign and stand on the street corner.

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