I have been what people would stereotypically call “artistic” for as long as I can remember. As a small child I enjoyed making elaborate play-doh creations, which evolved into drawing my own comic strips in elementary school. Drawing developed into my number one form of expression.
All humans have emotions. I don’t believe any of us to be more emotional than the other. There are just some of us who are more vocal about those emotions. I used to be very silent when it came to what I was feeling and I found creating art to be the only time I could let those emotions come out. I would come home with sketches all over my school notes and homework as well as all over my hands. My mother was constantly scolding me about drawing on my self and things.
As I got older, I began to paint as well. I was able to find peace in the strokes of the brush, all the anger and resentment I had build up from being silent could spill onto the canvas as beautiful colors and forms. But something else happened as I got older; I started to say what I felt. It started to become easier to express my emotions in words. And with this, I created less and less; less drawings, less paintings, less henna tattoos, less art. I opted for more tactile forms of expression through physical activities as I had finally found my voice.
Now, understanding myself a little better I am ready to create again. I have recently discovered photography and I am having fun with what this medium allows me to express. For me it is a balance of my two favorite forms of expression, drawing and narratives. It allows me to use everything I have gained from my physical activities, my knowledge of the human body and movement. But most of all, it has given me an understanding that creation does not all come from the same place. It does not always come from a place of expression or emotional release. Creativity comes from different places for everyone. There are people whose mindset is more craftsmen like, coming from a place of finding perfection in their medium. Their creations are flawless, and evoke emotions that are different for everyone because they aren’t forcing theirs on you. They give you the freedom to discover that for yourself. They make the creators like me take a step back and examine our own art. My creations don’t often give the viewer the freedom to have their own emotions, as mine are spilling off the pages.
Photography is the first time that I have been able to take a step back and do a little craftsmanship for myself. My work is not completely void of my emotions, as that is just not who I am, but I am seeing things from new perspectives. I attended an art party this past weekend where I was able to capture some great moments. Nothing was really staged; I just let the camera do the work. Then during editing, I was able to add a little of my voice. I was very happy with my results, and look forward to what the future might hold for me and my camera. It doesn’t matter if you are more of a craftsman or more of the struggling artist; in the words of Madonna “Express yourself!”