Maybe I am the Artist my Brain Convinces Me I am Not
Imposter Syndrome is a hell of a thing. It comes in a lot during my depressive episodes (thank you manic depressed brain) and usually I can fight it off pretty well. Well, that was all until a global pandemic hit and we artists could not create as frequently as we could before. I took various photos, was shooting projects, and writing scripts on a sort of frequent basis before COVID-19 messed with our lives. Suddenly, I found myself not be taking many pictures, could not shoot video, or had the motivation to, and I would not write my next script until it was an assignment. I started to think maybe this is it and I am not the artist I think I am. I mean, it also did not help that every day on wretched social media (god I can’t wait to finally be off that hellhole) everyone was touting that artists had to create their magnum opus during this quarantine because Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a quarantine.
Now, yes I could have tried to write at least a page every day, but the state of the world around me was not helping the motivation I was lacking. It started to feel like maybe I am really not cut out for any of this. I started to feel that maybe that purpose I kept telling myself I had was all a pipe dream. These thoughts are heavy on the brain especially when one is self-isolated. Of course, I was still podcasting every day and writing articles for my website, but none of them were on the level of creativity that I view my photography or films. I was not doing the thing that I found so much love and relief but also challenged me to keep creating.
That was until we had to shoot some work for Digi Cin and I took a trip to South Padre Island, TX to document the muddy ugliness of the Gulf of Mexico. The waves were strong and aggressive. It was as if mother nature herself was angry and it made for some of my favorite moody clips I have documented. I had some rage myself, mostly directed at people not following mask protocol and not socially distancing. I felt rejuvenated and finally felt that I was creating something that felt authentically me. Since then, I have finished a new roll of 35mm film and I have a shoot planned with a pole fitness athlete.
The pandemic has stifled a lot of things that we love. We cannot allow for the uncertainties of life to diminish the drive to create art that we have. I am sure that I will get back to writing more scripts soon, but for now, I am enjoying the number of creative projects I am working on. It finally feels like I am the artist that my brain won’t let me believe I am. It feels like I am finally me again.
Fun fact: The wind during this day was so strong that it knocked over my tripod over. Thankfully the gods of photography and cinema were looking out for me because my camera and lens are perfectly fine. You cannot imagine the heart attack I almost had. I’ll let that one come naturally at the age of 40 like it is supposed to.