I once stayed up into the quietness of night to breeze through one or two books every week – I’m talking Harry Potter length novels of 300 – 600 pages. These days, I struggle to read twenty pages in one sitting. I was once an artist who spent my time painting, drawing, and writing stories. That too lost its magic. Through exploring to cause of this drastic shift, I have begun my quest to reignite my artistic groove.
As an elementary school student, I could never get my nose out of a book. The excitement and books that the Scholastic Book Fair brought was enough for me to buy the most raved about and sought-after novels with the allowance I had saved. Those fairy stories were always a go-to. Oh! And those scented pencils, of course.
Fast forwarding to high school, suddenly, reading became a chore; a task that was being forced upon me, instead of a choice. As I was trying to understand what caused this sudden change, wracking my brain with memories of my youth, I realized: I grew up. As we get older, we become so preoccupied with new activities that we slowly eliminate those that once held meaning. Personally, this didn’t just include reading. As I grew up, I stopped writing, drawing, painting, and most importantly, living in the moment. I became too focused on the future. Navigating school, sports, and maintaining a social life entered its way into my daily life. While these things are important, participating in artistic activities had always been apart of who I am and without it, I struggled with self-identity.
Thus, as I enter my final year of high school, I was determined to change. I needed to focus more on the things that made me happy. First, I began to take more photos. As I am passionate about film photography, I have been taking film photos with my point and shoot camera of the grad class of 2021, every day since September. We got dealt a bad hand this year when it came to senior events, and I wanted to ensure that we would have something memorable to look back on. I post the photos on Instagram (@gr21onfilm) and have received positive feedback from my peers. We feel more connected through these photos, and that is everything I could ask for and more.
Additionally, I have also started my own personal Instagram account to share my art and creative endeavours. I call it a digital scrapbook (@withlovekeira). I share my photography, writing, video work, graphics, and art as a source of self expression and reflection. With the heartwarming support I have received from my friends and family, I have never been happier with the content that I have created than I am right now.
Lastly, music has been a huge factor of returning to art. I fell in love with so many artists this year that I wouldn’t have discovered had I not spent so much time with myself. It’s important to spend quality time with your body and mind. During quarantine, my singular company forced me to ask questions about the kind of person and artist that I want to be. I began to experiment with different fashion and photography styles. I started to collect vinyl records of my favourite albums. I spent more time with nature to get more inspired by my surroundings. Music inspires me the most. I connect a lot with certain lyrics, and they encourage me to sit down and write poetry and stories. Without those four months of isolation, I cannot be certain that I would be where I am today. I experienced a lot of self growth and change during quarantine, that I am immensely grateful for.
My challenge for 2021, that I challenge you to consider, is to create something every day. It can be as simple as doodling on your notepad at school to writing down a new word that you have learned. It can include just taking more photos and videos. Write poems or stories about your adventures. Paint your favourite views. Learn your favourite song on that instrument you’ve always wanted to play. Even if you don’t share these things with anybody else, and just keep them to yourself; creating memories is the best form of art out there.
While my journey of getting back into art has been long and overdue, I enjoy the fact that I am finally incorporating something I have always loved back into my life in a new, invigorating way. I am proud to say that my peers are already motivated by my actions and they too, are beginning to capture life’s little moments and share them with the world.
Written by Keira Johannson