David Bowie is on a ''burning mission'' to create art.

The music icon returned earlier this year with his new single 'Where Are We Now?' after spending many years out of the public eye.

His video director Tony Oursler admitted he was surprised the singer was quiet for so long, because of his passion for work.

He told the Sunday Times newspaper's Culture magazine: ''As an artist, to work is to live. It's a vocation, an avocation, a philosophy, a primal drive.

''And one of the things I always loved about David was that I could sense he was on this burning mission to make these cultural moments happen.''

When Bowie, 66, did contact Tony about plans to make his return on his birthday this year (08.01.13), the director leaped at the opportunity to be part of the ''re-entry''.

He admitted: ''I said, 'Oh yeah, I can definitely clear a little time out of the schedule for that!' It's a wonderful thing to have been part of his re-entry in the world.' ''

The singer will release 'The Next Day' - his first original album in a decade - next week.