She said to me "It must be so wonderful to spend your life doing what you love."
It is. It is wonderful.
It is also scary, unprestigious, sometimes embarrassing, confronting, anxiety provoking, difficult, challenging, humiliating... I don't mean to be negative and I am not complaining, but there are reasons most people don't do it.
People talk about doing what you love like it is the answer to all one's unhappiness. Reality check. You give up stuff. There are many sacrifices. This culture is not set up to support people in doing what they love, and it doesn't.
That said, I love being an artist. Not because it is fun. It often isn't. Painting when you feel like it is one thing -- painting regardless of how you feel is something else. Some days it goes well, most days it doesn't. Most days I don't find painting easy.
I think I love being an artist because it is really intense. Because my studio is where I feel entirely myself. It is where I can and should be completely honest - though that is a continual struggle. Because I always feel challenged. Because inspiration feels like life running through me. Because being an artist feels like coming Home.
Finally, and maybe the biggest reason, is that in my studio I can continually create the world as I believe it truly is, rather than how it appears to be.