Sometimes I wonder If what I create actually provides any real value! It's the questions that artists ponder on before pulling the plug on their creativity. It's the the self critique that very often does more damage then benefit. It's the question that lets us fall out of love with art.
I was creating part time with not enough time to dig deeper into my craft. If creating art was about paying the bills then It became a burden. People pay for flattery and I'm more interested in depicting the reality I see. I'll risk not appealing to everyone so I could focus on the aesthetics that only few will appreciate, after all the artist sees what other's only catch a glimpse of right? I let my ego sink in then spit it right back out.
Creating art, is mental warfare at times. We can get so carried away in the process, we forget the purpose of why we are creating in the first place and more importantly why it matters to keep on creating despite being consumed by the noise of doubt.
Let me elaborate on this by saying through my rebirth as an artist, creating has become purpose for me & when I stop creating, I seize to exist. In fact creating as a purpose goes beyond art, it is what we do in life. When we write, reflect, share stories; we are creating vibrations through our energy.
Now when photography was more of a part time flex for me, I was consumed by the noise of capturing instead creating. I was shooting what was in front of me but not truly curating the story of what I was seeing. I have digital archives holding thousands of un released images, many which I have buried for a time that warrants its curation for the world. In my last post I mentioned that:
I became attached to photography as an art form because it allowed me to reclaim the arts and change my own lens to focus on what was not rightfully being shared with the world. I've always taken pride in being able to be a professional photographer to support other people who were passionate about something they were involved in and in some way, capturing their picture was a chance to share with the world, my passion.
What I should also mention is that we can burn the fuse on any of our passions. I came to a point where I stopped capturing people in my photography work because I couldn't see the value in what I was creating. It was a dangerous cycle for me because when I stopped adding humanity to my work, I lacked the energy that pushed me to continuously pursue my passion for the arts.
We need to be critical of who we are in order to create the best version of who we need to be. However we should never let that self critique stop us from realizing the purpose of our creations. I realized that regardless of the styles I shoot under, I never choose this art to create for myself. I chose photography to collaborate, create & inspire others.
I'm counting 5 months of choosing to chase my dreams of creating full time. The eight years before that is what I needed to understand the type of creator I've become. I believe I'm starting to create some of the best work I've ever done but knowing that some of that best is still yet to come.
This November I will be launching an exhibit with a group of young artists. It is the Scarborough showcase, which has been one of the most pinnacle projects of my photography career & the true catalyst for this artist's rebirth. This entire 3 part reflection has been the pre amble to an outdoor community based photography exhibit on Lawrence Avenue, called #WeAreLawrenceAve.
With the teaching & direction of Toronto's very own instigator of community & culture; Che Kothari, ( a strong mentor to me these last five months and an inspiration for years beyond that) I've been apprenticing under his leadership to co-curate the stories of humanity in a place that need it the most: my home in the Borough.
The most important part of this work for me will always be the untold stories of others & that is what has led to my rebirth as an artist. The value we can provide in art comes from our own ability to create a world that has a better understanding of the humanity that exists within it.
Stay tuned for the full release of the #WeAreLawrence Project next week
"Hard Knock Awakenings" was created as a form of reflective based storytelling, dedicated to realizations of purpose, struggle & passion in paths of life we have taken.
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