What drives most artists has nothing to do with success in terms of sales or recognition.
I have an inner drive. I am compelled by my temperament, by my emotions to create. I paint to communicate, to express beauty, to regulate my emotions, to feel fulfilled to make sense of the world.
For me it is a compulsion. Art is my therapy. D.H. Lawrence, wrote: “One sheds one’s sicknesses in books.” I feel that way when I paint.
I get immense satisfaction from the process of making art. Both the process and the final product have meaning for me. The process because it is my journey, my exploration, experimentation, discovery and for the sheer pleasure it offers. The final product because it reflects my vision, what I want to communicate. The culmination of my skill and experiences painted and framed for you.
If you’re not a creative person your inner drive might look a bit different than mine, but it is that ingredient that ignites your spirit and pushes you forward.
That’s not to say that the need for extrinsic reward isn’t there but money, praise, recognition, popularity isn’t at the core and without these motivational factors, for me the drive would still be present.
The ideal I suppose as with anything else is to strike a balance.