One Year On
Today marks one year of this blog.
Starting as an excuse to be creative in the final few weeks of last summer, this blog has become a place to share new things: some things more humble and some more ambitious; sometimes more frequent and sometimes less so.
As I wrote about on World Mental Health Day, the most important thing about this blog has been the freedom to share in ways that feel easier to me. Trying new formats has been a big part of that for me. Starting with one-minute videos on Instagram, and then adding blog posts, video blogs, and music videos, each has opened up new practices and approaches.
I'm someone who likes to share things only when they are finished. I don't usually go in for astrology, but it is, apparently, a common trait in Virgos. In someways, it's a great thing: I can happily sit for hour, whittling away at ideas until the final piece emerges. However, the downside of wanting only to share final, polished pieces, is that it can become impossible to call anything finished at all.
Maybe it's getting older, maybe it's watching too much Ru Pauls's Drag Race, or maybe it's watching too many daily vlogs on YouTube, but over the past year, I've found myself looking to find a voice for my work that feels more authentically mine, even when that means embracing imperfections.
I have a tendency to be very neat and precise: another Virgo trait I believe, but I'm honestly not in to star signs — I swear! At college, I studied Graphic Art, and in the second year of my course, I was working on a street art themed project. I had made a mood board, collecting ideas for elements, textures and images that would inspire the project. I thought I was nearly done. But my tutor, Joel, looked at it, and with a roller of black ink, smeared a huge black mark right through the middle. "It's street art. It needs to be more dirty."
After the initial shock settled, I embraced the new direction. And in fact, it kicked off a whole new aesthetic for my work. This blog has been a little like that. Working in shorter formats has helped me look at songwriting in new ways. Working with friends on soundtracks and songs for videos has helped me to try new approaches, and embrace the little mistakes that give things their charm. Documenting special moments with friends and family in video blogs has helped me to just capture moments as they happen.
So maybe it is too much Drag Race, or too many daily vlogs, but for this next year, I want to make things that feel more personal, more expressive, and more authentic, even if that makes them a little messier. I hope that leads me to be little easier on myself, to open up and connect more with others, and to embrace imperfections. Because, remember, if you can't love yourself, how in the helllll are you gonna love somebody else? Can I get an amen up in herrrreeeee?