On this blog, I am trying to reflect the life and struggles of a creating human being. This topic is probably never ending because the artist changes together with the world. But what I feel is less talked about is the teenager artists and what it‘s like to be one. Here is some of my own experience.
You are considered as a weirdo
Doing art, whether it‘s painting, writing, photography or anything else also means exploring, reading, trying new things and especially thinking a lot. You get into Eastern philosophy, Renaissance fashion, soft massacre aesthetics or some other stuff that normal people don‘t usually care about. It‘s not bad, there is so much interesting and extremely odd going on in the art world that it‘s hard to understand the abilities of a human mind in general, but when you get into this world you will be seen as a maniac by the people that are not into this stuff and there‘s no other way. When I choose to go to a psychedelic short film festival instead of a cafe I am called weird because normal teenagers prefer drinking coffee and chatting about homework. But you get used to that and not being considered as a weirdo eventually starts to make you feel uncomfortable.
You experience frequent mental breakdowns
You think, think and overthink. You get excited very quickly about new projects, new ideas, get so exhilarated that it seems that you don’t need to eat or sleep. The next day you feel worthless and all of your past, present and future work seems to be worthless too. You feel like you will never be able to be productive again and all the effort that you’ve already put in the creative work now seems to have been a waste of time. This kind of self-love/hate feeling is common to all artists but if you are a teenager it’s extremely hard to handle: you don’t have an artist community that you could share your ideas with, your friends most probably don’t understand your pain, neither do your parents or teachers (they usually take this as another teenager overreaction) and you also have to deal with a huge amount of stress due to school and homework. It’s difficult and not good for your health so it’s really important to find the ways to relax, calm down and slow down a bit.
You find out who your real friends are
People who don‘t create and are not interested in art can‘t understand why this is such a big deal for the people who do create. It‘s hard to understand how art roots in the mind and soul and controls the way of thinking, even about the everyday things, if you are not experiencing this yourself. It may seem like a small detail but eventually, it causes a lot of disagreements between people, because they see the world completely differently. If you are a young artist and become friends with a person who is not into arts you will soon find out if they want to be your friend because of your personality or the other qualities like popularity or looks. Creativity is a part of the character so you soon find out whether your friends are tolerant or whether they don‘t take your passions seriously. You won‘t have a lot of friends at the end but at least you‘ll know that they are the true ones. I believe that‘s one of the advantages of being a weirdo. Or an artist, in other words.
You learn to enjoy being on your own
Art is not created quickly and only trusting the inspiration. It also takes a lot of work – sketching the same figure over and over again, writing a draft after another, editing photos for hours. It‘s not a very pleasant part of the creative process but it is crucial if you aim high. Also, you need inspiration, therefore you spend hours in galleries, libraries and theaters. Your friends won’t always be there with you, not because they are bad people, but because they might not always find this kind of things interesting. And they don’t have to, the creative process is something you have to get through on your own. You have to crystallize your piece of art in your own company. It has a lot of advantages: you learn to enjoy the silence, you get to know yourself better and you become less dependent on other people.
You become strong
A creative person has a lot going on in their mind: a lot of feelings, thoughts and ideas. It leads to a great joy and also to a great sadness and every emotion in between. The feelings are so vivid that not everyone can understand and sometimes you are left with those feelings alone. Sometimes it means experiencing euphory, sometimes a very deep grief. Not having anyone to understand you is tough, but as the time passes you also get tougher. You learn to handle these feelings and eventually become happy that you are actually able to feel so deeply. You become mentally strong and independent, the one who suffers, but wins at the end (and by winning I mean getting wiser and wiser).
Creating art means not only expressing yourself but also experiencing and learning a lot of new things and growing as a person. It means feeling the world stronger, seeing the details and exploring the emotions. Even though it might be tough sometimes, it’s worth it because all the beautiful things that art helps to see and feel. Young artists are brave and kind-hearted people who are making the world a better place and also growing into great, intelligent people.