We all want to be known, we’re all seeking to be understood.
“I feel safe in the presence of your stories, and I don’t mean comfortable. I feel safe to look inside myself, I feel safe to examine my life, I feel safe to be inspired, I feel safe to own and acknowledge my shortcomings, I feel safe to not have answers” — Josh Riebock
In our pursuit for social acceptance, often we choose to hide the not so fun parts of our lives. And because of this I think we really miss out on an opportunity to create art that connects on a deeper emotional level.
I firmly believe that it is our duty as artists to not shy away from creating art and telling stories that speak to us whole, not in part.
To invite others into a conversation of self reflection about the things in their lives that are not glamorous and exciting, but the things that are tough and often uncomfortable.
I find myself often battling the urge to share photos, and post things that only portray the good parts of my life.
Now I’ve had a lot of time these past few months reflect on my life. And I’m realizing how much baggage and unnecessary weight that I choose to pick back up and carry with me. Past relationships, depression, anxiety. And I know without a doubt that this effects the way I work, the photos I take, and the designs I come up with.
But I’ve been learning to embrace these negative things, and to bring some odd sort of redemption to them.
The more I share my struggles, the more I feel like I’m redeeming them.
Sharing that I don’t have it all together is something I’ve become okay with. I want people to know that they’re not alone in their struggles. That even though a life from the outside that looks all clean and pristine isn’t incapable of being a mess on the inside. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
As I touched on earlier, often the way I feel effects the art I create. And honestly the photos I’ve been taking lately have been some of my favorite photos by far. And not because they look cool. But because they’re telling a story, my story, from where I’m at right here and now.
I think one of the biggest mistakes that we can make as artists, is to believe the lie that our mess is too much for others to take.
I meet with the group of guys on Thursday nights to check in and talk about life. And although it’s been very uncomfortable at times, I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience. I mean really, sharing the hard parts of your life. That’s not easy. And it’s not comfortable. But it’s necessary.
When we openly share our struggles with others, there’s this sense of clarity that comes with it. And it may not be a one sentence answer to your problems, but it’s a start to understanding yourself more.
Confront your discomfort. And allow others to engage in it with you.
May we craft images, make designs, and tell stories that speak to us in whole, not in part.
And may we give people the opportunity to see themselves within our work.
Go. Go create.