Why I Like Being a Painter More than I Liked Being a Singer

Malini and Greg singing

If you’ve been following my journey, you might know that I came to visual art via a rather circuitous and scenic route, making stops in the field of science and then the performing arts. Along the way I gathered up degrees in one and used up a lot of adrenaline in the other, until finally coming to a rest (quite literally – I was VERY tired for seven years while I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in the little seaside town of Albany on Western Australia’s southern coast. There I found the great love of my life. Oops, make that the second great love of my life.

Art.

My heart exploded with creativity, while our dining table, lounge room, study, all available floor and wall space, exploded into an art studio. I’ve never looked back.

The thing is, singing has been part of my life since I was 9 years old. I met Greg (my husband of 27 years) through singing. I love singing, but the fire it ignited in my belly seemed to burn a hole in stomach 🙂 Head over here if you want to detour into that story.

So, with apologies to the brilliant musos of the world, here’s why I like being a painter more than being a singer:

  1. If I forget the words I want to put into my painting, I can make up new ones. This also works on stage, but only very rarely.
  2. If I have an off day, I can paint over the rough bits. The added layer creates depth in the image. Or I can start another painting. Or both. This can go on roughly indefinitely. A song recorded badly lasts roughly indefinitely, but not in a good way.
  3. The more you paint, the better you get. This is pretty much universal, as long as you’re alive. I think there may be a ‘use by’ date on voices. This could explain why Greg no longer gives me lead roles in his shows 🙂
  4. I can paint in my pyjamas and also in my fancy clothes. As I have no fancy clothes, and I sleep in anything I lay my hands on, I can paint in anything. Singing in pyjamas only works only if you’re a banana.
  5. It’s easier not to become a raging egomaniac as a painter. If you’re a good singer, thunderous applause and standing ovations will greet your work. Then it’s all the drugs and the buying of the secret tropical getaway islands just to escape your life.You will never have this problem as an artist 🙂

And there you have it… five compelling and terribly serious reasons why I love what I do more than what I did! I’d love to hear about your Big Switch!

Comments 16

  1. You really did make me laugh Malini! Another bonus is that you can sing at the top of your voice while painting, not bothering if anyone hears. It’s probably harder to paint while singing on stage…

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      Haha, that’s so true, Laly! Although I do have a friend who dances while painting on stage – Phil Doncon 🙂 really cool! Glad you’re amused by my musings 🙂 x

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      Hey Shannon – you’re not a singer too, are you?! Goodness me, we will have a lot to talk about when we meet!

  2. Oh Malini! We have far more in common than you even know…..I am no longer singing either and can TOTALLY relate the the panic and fear or performing, anxiety would precede the performance for several weeks and then the aftermath wreaked havoc on my digestive system. My fear of forgetting the words led to numerous arguments between my husband and I when I began to adamantly refuse to go on stage without the songs in large type taped to the floor in front of me, just in case I went blank! We have a lot to talk about! xoxo

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  3. Love your post Malini!
    I am possibly (hopfully) in the middle of my BIG Switch! I can not sing but can relate to everything you write but applied to a completely different area. I have a Master of Science in Physics… yes, I am not joking:-)… Quantum physics and Optronics:-) I have been working with Business Development in several big and small fast growing technology companies with huge success. I have had a feeling of emptiness and discouragement all the way through. I am now having a break from work, being home with my third kid. AND I have decided that I want to focus on one of my true passions; ART and WOW, what a feeling, what a flow. I love it and I spend a lot of time in my studio. I will never make the same kind of money as I am doing in my day job but BOY what I love it!!!
    First time I write about this on-line!!! But your blogpost just made me feel like I need to get it out… it is the first time… but I am sure it is not the last time;-)
    Cheers Jenny

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      Good for you, Jenny 🙂 We’re not so different…I have a Masters in Medical Science!! Talk about emptiness and discouragement all the years I worked in that field…I can totally relate. I am honoured that you wrote about it publicly here! And so glad you made the Big Switch, as your art is just beautiful! xx

  4. You seem to be of many talents Malini, I love reading your blog too. I have seen your art and now I know you sing too. All the best with Greg..

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      Thank you so much, Seema! I’m so glad that you enjoyed reading it, this was just a bit of fun, but the deeper message I guess is about finding our ‘true calling’ 🙂 Thanks for your kind words xox

  5. You had me at “circuitous.” {How can you NOT want to hand out with someone who uses such round words in a post?} I knew you were serious by the time I read #5 –> anyone willing to make the sacrifice of giving up such things means business. Just sayin’.

    1. Um, I meant “hang” out — or “hang” with — not to be confused with “hanging” your English-major-self for not reading through your comment AGAIN before hitting the ENTER key….*sigh*

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        Hey Robin,
        thanks so much for popping in and handing out, hanging out or hanging :)) And gosh, I never knew ‘circuitous’ was a round word!

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