"There is this chapter in 'Letters to a Young Poet,' by Rainer Maria Rilke, where the writer asks if the inquirer would rather die if he couldn't write," Columbus artist Matt Wolcott said. "Rilke says, 'Ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple, 'I must,' then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life.' This really hit home for me. After reading that, my art became really important."

"There is this chapter in 'Letters to a Young Poet,' by Rainer Maria Rilke, where the writer asks if the inquirer would rather die if he couldn't write," Columbus artist Matt Wolcott said. "Rilke says, 'Ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple, 'I must,' then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life.' This really hit home for me. After reading that, my art became really important."

Wolcott took an interest in art at a young age, experimenting with different media at four years old. With his mother's encouragement and a strong support system, he put himself through college at Ohio State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing. Being an artist was his dream, but he knew that it would not be easy.

"There are external and internal factors that make this profession hard," Wolcott said. "Money, finances and time are huge. They go hand in hand. To continue to do what I love, I must work a full-time job to support it. All of my free time is dedicated to creating, and it is difficult because sometimes all of that hard work goes unnoticed."

One of the biggest struggles for Wolcott as an artist is overcoming self-doubt. Just this year he received 13 rejection letters, four of them in one week.

"It's hard to accept rejection," Wolcott said. "In this field you really have to believe in yourself, but you also have to be able to take criticism. There is this constant little voice in the back of your head that is your self-doubt. Believing in yourself [and] fighting through that self-doubt is the biggest obstacle."

"Deep down there is this desire to have that pat on the back," he continued. "To have your hard work acknowledged, appreciated and admired. My passion drives me. I continue because I don't know what else I would do. There is nothing else that I want to do. It took me a while but I have learned to say screw them. You just have to take it and work through it. My art helps me with that."