I’m afraid

mafe roig photography blogger

We are used to hearing that sadness and melancholy are the best muses. That an artist best work comes to life from corners in his mind and deep feelings of heartbreak and nostalgia.

I recently read an article in which the author advised readers to take anxiety, sadness, depression and transform them into something, into art. To express those emotions and share them with the rest of the world, rather than holding onto them and locking them inside.

There is something I know about myself. Whenever I’m going through a bad moment in my life, or when I’m feeling sad about something I shut down and stay away from photography. I’ve never taken photos when I’m in a negativa emotional state.

Never.

It’s because it scares me. I feel, somehow, I’ve put up a wall and haven’t allowed myself to knock it down and explore that side of my photography. I’m afraid of the outcome.

What would I see through my lens if I grab my camera when I’m feeling anxious?

How would I feel when I see the result?

I’m afraid that if I take this step, knock the wall down and go there I wont be able to come back.

But I also think I might discover beautiful things. That maybe I could overcome difficult times through my photography. That maybe someone out there could relate to it. That maybe I could accomplish much more as a photographer by opening the door to a part of my creativity I’ve been holding down.

Just like the most beautiful songs. The most vibrant pieces of art. The most beautiful stories. The ones that inspire, the ones that make you feel. The real ones.

Do you think this is a process every artist should go through?

Have you felt something like this?

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5 thoughts on “I’m afraid

  1. Interesting thoughts. I’m bipolar and came to study art in mid life because of having to stop my first career through the effects of my illness. I try to use my different mood states to explore my creativity – and to see how different my art work is when I’m high or low. I definitely find that trying to express my depressive or mixed mood states through creative practice is helpful rather than frightening. I do find that the media I use change quite a bit with mood states, and there are times when despite my best intentions I just don’t have the energy or volition to do anything. I wish I did because I think that art produced at those times could be quite revealing. My practice varies from creative writing through photography and video production to textiles, painting and installations.

    • Hi, Diana! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective. I also wish I found the energy to create something when I find myself in these mood states, but I’ve found it so difficult up to this point. But I will try my best because I agree with you. I think anything that comes out in a moment like those can be very revealing. I have found so far that it’s easier for me to write than to take photos when I’m feeling bad. I don’t know why…

      • I couldn’t agree more. For some reason when I’m in a bad state I find the only way to express myself is through poetry/ prose poetry. I never write in that way any other time, and my visual art creativity seems to disappear.

  2. This post is so thought-provoking..and indeed very timely, as I have been struggling with heightened anxiety the last few months, and the result is I am blocked with my blog. I sometimes feel as you say, like I should cross the wall and write when my feelings are not all happyland, and positive..but it scares me. A great deal. Just as you have so well relayed in this piece. Although I am not a photographer (I do love snapping pics with my iphone) I can understand fully the fear of wondering what would happen if we were to share the depths of the creative wellspring that may well come from pain or anxiety or depression. I have felt very stunted in my writing lately because my internal life is a bit unbalanced, and I feel that most people enjoy my blog when it is funny, or I can make people giggle. That is a pressure I put on myself, to entertain others. So when I am not feeling that joy I do not write. Perhaps, I should rethink this. Thank you for a wonderful and thoughtful look at the idea of revealing ourselves through our present moment, whatever it happens to be, sad or joyful..loved this. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Sice I wrote this post I’ve trying to cross that wall and I´ve found that it helps me feel better when I’m not in a happy state of mind. Strangely enough, I find it very easy to do so when I write, so I’m trying to get there with my photos too. And it is amazing to hear stories about others that feel the same way or have already crossed that wall. I really encourage you to try and do so! Maybe if it just for you and you don’t share it in your blog… Maybe you’ll feel ready to share it in the future!

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