Our truest interests, our unique path, can be--and usually IS--plural.
In the past, there were not so many choices for people, at least those of us of peasant stock. We worked the farm, or followed our father's trade, or raised our children. Period. A few adventurous souls left house and home and "lit out for the territories," or sailed for the New World to escape those limited expectations, or poverty, or oppression both societal, religious and economic, or the Potato Famine. I'm very grateful my ancestors did just that, though I still have Ireland in my bones two and a half centuries later.
And I am in NO way suggesting that we need to find Our Style or our medium and settle on it, as some galleries will tell you to do "to be taken seriously," or make ourselves into a brand.
How I paint or draw depends on what interests me, how much time I have, what medium seems to suggest itself, if I'm feeling bold or contemplative, peaceful or angry or excited, what the subject matter is, why I want to capture it!
No thanks. I am not a factory--or even, truth be told, particularly driven or focused. Fine for those who can, and find satisfaction in the process, but--not for me.
It's the same with challenges, or prompts. Fine for those who enjoy them, but not for me.
I believe that as an artist, I personally need to be free to expand and explore. To be inspired--and yes, to inspire.
That IS my path, as an artist.
And so...I experiment, and try different mediums and approaches and subjects. I'm always surprised when someone says they recognize my work...to me, it's very different, and influenced by where I am on my path on any given day.
What works for you? What makes you itch to paint or sketch? Why do you respond to the things you do? What has influenced you? What tool feels like part of our hand? What colors make your heart sing or express an elemental sadness or capture a special tenderness? What does life demand? How much time do you have? What new medium do you want to explore? What matters to you? What makes you feel safe, or loved, playful, nervous, or challenged? What do you need to get outside of your brain and heart and down onto paper or canvas?
The answers to those questions and a hundred others are signposts on our path.
And paths change, and branch, and have dead ends and interesting side trips and wondrous surprises as well as frustrations along the way. As long as we keep going, at our own pace, in our own way, we will arrive where we need to...and always, always, it's more about the journey than the destination.