About six years ago I started using art to process my thoughts, to express what I couldn’t convey, despite writing a lot. Over the growth of my creative process, I have had many seasons. For a very long time, I created out of the dark depths of my being, putting myself in emotional places to feel the hurt and react. During those times, I felt like I perceived artists felt like…I felt disheveled, chaotic & untamed. I would drink heavily, sprawl out naked on my bedroom floor & dive into my darkest emotions recklessly. This lifestyle was taxing & I began to recognize that it was not sustainable & if I wanted to be healthy, I needed to change my process. I questioned if I would able to create out of healthy emotion, especially since my work was gaining momentum by destroying myself on a regular basis. I started to gain control of my creativity, painting with discipline & boundaries.
For a few years now, I have begun to manage my creativity with maturity, but it has still starts as an expression & then I would reflect upon the final piece, as if I were at its mercy. It sounds poetic, to be controlled by passionate artistry but it has felt voiceless. This process is me & I embrace it as part of the journey, but I have a voice & I have a message. I am beginning to lean into my technical skills, confident I will be able to say what I mean to say, to start the conversations we need to have. I want to challenge myself & those that choose to engage with my artistic expression.
When I think back to the way I used to create, I cringe. I feel embarrassed I was so naive & out of touch with my feelings…afraid to use my voice. It’s hard to put yourself out there, to be vulnerable & understand that change may come & break our comfort, but we can learn through the process. I’m glad the beginning is part of my story, part of the growth. I am also glad that my story isn’t done here. It is painful to see yourself in different season & love them all, but they are all part of your journey, so I am trying to embrace them.
The art I create will increasingly be me.
It will be strong, assertive, engaging, mysterious…true.