I was told from a very young age that any piece of writing I produce would always have a piece of me in it. I could try to create 100 completely different fictional characters and at the end of it, every character would still contain a piece of me. Because I can try my best to draw a picture of being in someone else’s shoes, but a the end of it, the only shoes that I would ever have had the chance to walk in is my own. So, I can try to take in someone else’s perspective as the basis of my stories, but in the end that will only be a copy, a reflection. Because the only perspective I will ever get to experience first hand in life is my own.
I think this applies to not only writers, but artists in general. To create a piece of art that moves, it requires an outpour of heart and soul. Because if what makes your art speaks is the piece of you put in that art, then something needs to be outpoured into your masterpiece for it to actually become one.
But this outpouring process… man! This isn’t something easy to master. I think “master” is perhaps not the right word to apply in this case. It isn’t something easy to embrace. The thing with outpouring is that, you will have to show who you are in your art. I’m still scared of this a lot of times. It gets me giddy and jittery every time I had to post my poem on my Instagram. Even as I’m writing this blog post, I get nervous still.
Outpouring is real. And being real can be terrifying. But I have to be real. If I want to write things that really speak to the hearts of many, they need to speak from my heart first. There needs to be honesty, an essence of truth - my truth - plastered all over my artwork. Which means, I have to show the world a little bit of who I am in every work of art I produce. You have to show the world a little bit of who you are in every work of art you produce.
A little bit of that person you have grown to love,
a little bit of that shameful past you have been trying to deal with for a while,
a little bit of your stubbornness,
a little bit of your fear,
a little bit of your perfectionism,
a little bit of your insecurity about your weight and appearance,
a little bit of your hatred towards your arrogant friends,
a little bit of the dreams you have been wanting to reach since you were a kid,
a little bit of the things you hate to encounter,
a little bit of your favorite lyrics,
a little bit of your favorite books,
and so forth.
The list is endless.
To bare this out to the world is no difference than being sort of “naked”. Exposed, out in the open. And for once, to some extend, we reached a point where we are simply vulnerable before the world. Giving the world a chance to enter the parts of our lives we have so dearly kept, only to give them a taste of true art. Crazy, right! What makes our works of art a masterpiece is simply how far we allow our works to get a taste of who we really are. The more of ourselves are poured into it, the stronger it will be when it comes to moving people.
When I really think about this, I came to this conclusion: That if every piece of art, at the very core, is a display of a part of ourselves, then the better we can showcase what makes us who we are, in a way that is relatable and moving to the world, the stronger our masterpieces will be.
This outpouring process is a process that we need to embrace as artists of any kind. To be vulnerable and to be okay with everything that makes us who we are, including all the guilt and shame. It doesn’t mean we don’t deal with them, but we simply feel okay to expose them to the world up to a certain extend, just to show that we understand. And that at the end of it, our works of art are mere vessels to give others a voice. To be honest and open about what we feel, what we believe. To be okay with our own skin and to find that being enough simply means accepting the skin you’re in.
To be real.
To be bare and naked before the world.