Trained as a graphic designer, I currently co-manage a small design agency in Dublin. It's mostly creative and enjoyable work, but it doesn't satisfy the personal creative urge. Basically, we're selling our clients product or service to their market and there are a lot of considerations to keep in mind and guidelines and structures to work within. Not forgetting, of course, the client will always want their logo bigger, no matter how well visually balanced I think it is.
So that's where the painting comes in. Creative freedom. Personal expression and all that. I've always dabbled a bit with drawing and painting over the years, but finding the time to do it on a regular basis was always elusive, between running a business, raising a family and generally trying to keep sane, it was difficult to get a decent run at it. Nowadays, I try to make sure to find the time. In fact, sometimes the design work gets pushed down the priority list when I'm working on something exciting that I want to develop. And come to think of it, family and friends can get pushed aside also, not to mention sleeping and eating.
When I started selling my work a few years ago, and to a small extent even still, I was always reluctant to actually part with a painting. Besides being very personal, they look pretty good in my house, but when people expressed an interest in buying them, it encouraged me to do more. As a result, these days I usually have enough pieces lying around the house to keep me happy. I like to hold on to a painting for a few months before offering it for sale, and sometimes from living with it on a daily basis, I might feel the need to tweak it just a bit, which isn't always a good thing because deciding when a piece is actually finished can be surprisingly difficult sometimes.
The most important thing for me though is that each painting goes to a happy home. Sounds a bit naff, but it's true. Its always hugely rewarding when somebody loves a painting so much that they're prepared to part with their hard earned cash to own it and look at it every day.