Art is all about emotion.
The emotion felt when creating to the emotion felt by the viewer, art makes us feel. For me, my photography is typically inspired by pain.
In high school, I was struggling with depression and photography became a very important outlet for me. Now, I still find myself using my photography as a way to deal with everything that comes with going through a divorce.
I see it, personally, in how I photograph my subjects and what my subjects are. If you look back at what I started this latest photography project with, I was looking for a lot of broken, overlooked subjects. Things you saw but never really paid attention to. At the time I was struggling with my depression and I was sharing exactly how I felt through those images.
This last week, I’ve worked on my most recent images and could see how I’ve left that direct expression of emotion behind and instead have tried to find a peace and calm in the images I capture. It isn’t because I feel that way, but because I want to feel that way. I want to express more of a hope for my future and less of the heartache.
The shift in my expression of emotion, allowed me to feel more comfortable with creating more items for my “Surviving” series and this weekend really helped me to see how important it is for me to be want to build this.
Sunday, I was sitting in church, half listening to the speakers, when I caught myself in a moment of clarity. The sister had begun sharing how her life wasn’t always easy and how she’d find herself struggling at times to even get up out of bed, she talked about where she found her strength to carry on each day and encouraged us to find that same strength.
That is a real simple overview of her message, and I really only want to focus on the first part.
WE ALL STRUGGLE.
No one in this life will not experience pain, heartache, sadness, or hardship. Many of us grew up thinking there was some sort of “perfect life” we needed to achieve and that any deviation from it was wrong and impossible. That’s simple not true.
I naturally have a hard time feeling happy. It’s just how my body is wired. For a long time, half of my depression stemmed from the fact that I knew I couldn’t be perfect. Art helped me change that. There is beauty all around us and I find it in the dirty, cracked and broken. I also find it in the stillness and grace of nature.
Art helps me survive. I survive because I know life has more for me.
I want to share this because if that is true for me, then it’s true for you and for everyone else.
Life gets shitty. But don’t let it stop you. Reach out. Speak up. Be real.