I used to escape reality using art.
There was a reality that was so painful that only escaping you could find some relief. I used arts. Unlike drugs, arts is cheap. You can escape every time you want, and the consumables are quite affordable, and unlike drugs, you end with something people can admire.
My continued escapes caused me to develop enough technique so I started to sell commercial arts in the past without having any formal studies.
In the very past I did not do arts because of pleasure, it was more because of a need. Sometimes I forgot about eating or sleeping because I was living in my personal universe, where things were as I wanted, but I never was a God there, but at least everything had a happy ending. But later I got to make it commercially and made some money out of it.