struggle

Does it make sense to create more art?

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A few months ago I went through an existential creator crisis (just like every others couple of months to be honest ;D ) : it didn’t make any sense any more to create pictures. 


You know, there are already so many of them everywhere! Let’s face it, we are flooded with images and other stuff : more pictures are uploaded every day on instagram than ever before, at a point we almost start to regret the age of the scarcity of film photography. Why would I spend 12 hours to create something with my heart and soul for it to disappear almost instantly, lost into this sad ocean of selfies. And if you start comparing yourself and your work with others photographers, it’s over : so many of them already doing such beautiful pictures, it does not make any sense to do some more! It will never be as beautiful, and even if it’s not that bad, it will never set itself apart from the crowd. That’s it, we are doomed to stay in this magma, lost in the middle of millions other people. I should have listen to my parents/husband/sister/friend and get a real job!

I knew it, I will never be Beyoncé, we are all gonna die, the planet is fucked and the pandas are still not having sex DAMNIT!

Ok, it’s time for a bit of mindfulness, let’s get back on track before we get lost into dark sad parts our mind labyrinth

I want to give you my own most powerful reasons to keep going. This is personal, mostly from conversation with good friends, and this pieces of philosophy help me on a daily basis to keep the spark going!

The world desperately needs the dreamers 

I got this one from my beautiful dancer friend human Kevin : He thinks our mission is indeed vital to the society : We are the one able to see and share beauty, we have the power to move people, to make them feel, this is what’s matters the most. As long as we have the artists, the world will not give up. Don’t let anyone treat you inferior because you are just another creator who wants to live his dream. Everyone loves to go to movies, to watch TV shows, to listen to music : this industries are MASSIVE, they hire thousands of people, and they influence people’s life, who can gather around something great and positive. That’s why every dictature have an absolute control over art and creation : they either use it to promote their own values, or censor the creations that does not fit their views. They understand very well that it can influence people’s point of view. Even in our societies, we need the dreamers to give us hope in a world flooded by bad news ans sensationalism. Especially when medias are playing with our fears on a daily basis. 

The mission of the artist

The artist is a messenger : they are a voice of the society we live in. You might want it or not, but you are a part of this world. So even if you don’t consider yourself as a non-political person, you are still a product of the society you are living in. The creator can use his skills to share messages from people that does not have the voice or the power to do so. When I was still a student in graphic design school, a friend of mine was older and he was already a recognized art director in Paris. He mentored me for a bit and I remember a great lesson he taught me : He said to me « as a designer, you have a power to help others : for example, a charity that helps women victim of domestic violence wants to promote the work they are doing. If they do a poster themselves, and put them it the wall in the street, probably no one will read it. But if you create a great poster for them, with a strong message and an impactful visual, some people will see it and be interested in what they have to say. As a designer, you will have to decide what you want for this world, you can use your power to influence people to buy more useless craps, or you can help give a voice to some people who can’t speak ». I realized this day that if I had a power and a responsability that was beyond me and beyond creating just beautiful visuals. 

The creators are the voice of their time

I will go even farther and say that most of what we admire from the past are from creators : the artists have the power to transcend reality but also time. If a prehistoric guy, thousands of years ago asked himself too many questions about why he was doing this weird paintings on the cave wall and watched netflix instead (wait what?) we would not be able to admire them. And even more important, to understand a tiny bit more about the way they were living. Most of the things we value from our past is Art, Painting, Sculpture, Architecture : these creations reflect the beauty of a past time. We won’t remember the accountant, the banker nor the nurse. These jobs are vital to a society for sure, and sometimes, the artist even help them to be remembered in their own way : I love how Verweer saw beauty and poetry in the life of the domestics working in house : we have to remember it was a time when only rich people got to have their portraits painted. He gives us an insight into the 17th century daily life of workers, and showed us the beauty of it. There are as many different ways to see the world as people on this planet, and I think this is incredible to have access to a piece the mind of other artist, living in other societies, and different times than us. It’s like opening a window to a different world that does not exist anymore. 

Vermeer, milkmaid, around 1658-1661

Vermeer, milkmaid, around 1658-1661


Conclusion

I could give you 1000 reasons why creation will always be a part of my life, this is a highly complicated, deep subject and I have so many more ideas on it (for a change!!). But I love these ones because they are beyond my own personal struggles. They help me see a bigger picture, and as someone who get trapped into my mind labyrinth a lot, it really helps me take the necessary distance to understand that my work is indeed valuable in some way. 

And also, what a waste of a life not to walk your own path :) 
I KNOW IT’S NOT THAT EASY
well it’s another story!

Des bisous!

Why perfection is a pain in the ass

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What if we decided to let go of this massive struggle that is the quest for perfection? 

I decided it would be a perfect subject to start this blog! As you can see, the website is just not ready, I don’t have a logo, I don’t even have the good domain name! But my friend challenged my to write and publish one article everyday in march, so I don’t really have a choice : honoring my word is more important than anything else. So let’s do this, even if it’s faaaaar from being perfect :) 

So why is perfection such a problem in our lives? 
I discovered there is even a fancy greek word for this : 
ATELOPHOBIA (so now you can look like a pretentious know-it-all at parties, yep don’t thank me!) Which means literally the fear of imperfection : it’s is the fear of not being good enough. Sounds familiar? It looks not like much said like this but it leads to a lot of real troubles : anxiety, depression, and even suicide in the worst cases. 

I know that the quest for perfection can make our life like hell : we feel like we are not good enough, that we are not ready yet to publish this artwork, that we are to fat to deserve to be loved, too old to learn this new skills. We are just not ready. To the point we don’t even start anywhere. It becomes this massive block. I don’t need to remember you that almost all the signals from the world we are living in are remembering us on a daily basis how imperfect we are. For some of us it’s our parents, it’s our grades from school, it’s the influencers on social medias, the thin young girls on magazines, the advertising trying to sell you stuff, anything, just pick your favorite one! 

I can’t tell you how many people told me « I really want you to photograph me but I will come when I loose 5 kilos! ». (kinda 10 pounds) These people usually never come for a photoshoot : they are waiting to be the perfect version of themselves which will never exist, because there is always going to be something they don’t like. It’s the eternal internal fight between seeking what you don’t have, or realizing what you already have and be grateful for it. 

So as a result, we procrastinate, we think we are looking for perfection where in fact we waste our time not doing the stuff we love and not living the life we want. We are looking for the perfect conditions (which will never exist of course)

As a creator, we are first in line when it comes to this damn fear of imperfection : it’s hard to know if our idea is good, if it worth the time and energy to create it, sometimes it is so hard to know when our creation is just over (I swear I could spend 18 more hours on retouching any picture!). Sometimes we never finish what we start, sometimes we finish but never share it to the world, sometimes we never let go. And most of the time we don’t even start this new piece or this new project, because we are so afraid to fail that this fear is paralyzing us. We’d rather do nothing than doing something incorrectly.

Ahah as I am writing  and realizing that I am so guilty of this! There is not a moment I don’t get terrified before a creative photoshoot, I fear I will suck, that I will waste the time of my model, that I won’t be able to deliver what I imagined. 


Are we doomed forever? What tangible things can we do to release a bit of pressure : 

The best advice I can give is to set yourself a deadline : 
But a real one, with real grown-up consequences. It’s easy to respect deadlines when you have clients and a project to deliver, but when it comes to personal project and creation, it is another whole procrastination story. For example, because my friend is helping me in the process of creating this blog, I just don’t want to disappoint her : she told me I would have to write one article every day, so I am doing it. And trust me, if it was just for me, I would be sleeping right now or watching Netflix (or both at the same time!!) But I have to write this before the end of the day!! So I am grateful to have her supporting me here, because this would’t exist! 

So the second one is : find yourself someone you are accountable for :

A coach, a mentor, someone who will support you and encourage you to go to the right direction. From personal experience I wouldn’t recommend a close friend or family, because it’s hard to get an objective feedback on what we are doing when feelings are involved. And most of the time people that are not working in a creative industry won’t have any idea what to say to you to help you. I remember my mum would always be silent and say something like “oh. it looks “real” - what do you mean real? -mmh like it looks like a real photography from a magazine - NO KIDDING THIS IS MY JOB FOR LIKE TEN YEARS DAMNIT!” (I never said I was the most patient perfect person ever :D ) . Surround yourself by a positive tribe of people who are respecting your vision, who are understanding it and encouraging you work. 
For the challenge of one article a day, I am actually not by myself : we are three entrepreneurs doing it (the others have to publish one video a day, not easy either!!) We share a group on Facebook, and I find this HIGHLY motivating. We are pushing each other, we share our struggles, and whatever happens I know there are at least two people who are expecting to read my work everyday! I just don’t want to disappoint them, and I don’t feel alone in this adventure anymore :) 

I would say the last one is to be more mindful, and to challenge our vision of perfection :

Is spending 6 more months on this really help us reach our goals? I am happy to accept how imperfect this website is at the moment, it has plenty of time to grow, it will change and evolve with me. I acknowledge the fact that my english is not perfect, but it’s alright, it does not matter : what matters is that I finally have a place to share my experiences with all of you, and that maybe it will help you somewhere in your life. This is more important to me than having a perfect logo (and that’s a passionate designer saying this!!) I acknowledge my fear of failing, I am not especially pushing it away, and it is here for sure, but I don’t let it take control of my life. “oh hey it’s you again! Yep I see you, and yep I am listening to you, and yep I understand why you are afraid but nope you are not in charge!”.

I am letting you on one of my favorite quote ever ever EVER from Chuck Palahniuk (the guy who wrote Fight Club <3 )


“The air will always be to filled with something. Your body too sore or tired. Your father too drunk. Your wife too cold. You will always have some excuse not to live your life.”


― Chuck Palahniuk, Haunted

Do you recognize yourself this article? Do you think perfection is blocking you from starting something? What would you do if failing was totally alright? I am really curious and would love to know your experience hehe :) 

LOVE TO ALL ET PLEIN DE BISOUS!

Pauline