Where is my mind/body/soul as an emerging artist?
-By Afroetic -
To give a brief rundown, throughout my entire young life my mother supported my practice and indulgence of the arts. She financially supported my theater and acting practices, dance, my many instrument lessons, so many things, she supported me in. Despite her support, I was a very shy kid and that ended up taking away a lot of the joy in the experiences she was able to provide for me. I ended up quitting every single thing I had once been enrolled in, and it wasn’t until 2020 where I finally began to give myself a second chance, and forgive myself for all the money my mother poured into me. She believed in me, but I hadn’t yet fully believed in myself. Speed up to 2020, and I am beginning to dance again, and I am beginning to write poetry again, and I’m beginning to enjoy theater again. Coming back, even though in a lot of ways I had never left, has felt so foreign. I feel like a child who is just learning to walk.
I have always considered my art, whatever form that may be, as a hobby. However, I’m
starting to recognize that I have been depriving myself of the credit I deserve. I had been
equating “hobby” with “unprofessionalism” which had been killing my self esteem and
prevented me from claiming myself as the multidisciplinary artist that I am and seek to be.
My mind almost always thinks back to my middle school days where I gave up too easily
because of other people in the room, and my own insecurities, which I had been letting
control my artistic expression. It has been instilled in Black women/girl’s minds that we have
to push, push, push until we are at the top, or at least of value. My self doubt and insecurities came from a place of socially induced anti-Blackness. So 2020 for me, has been about reintroducing myself to the world and letting go of those inner demons telling me that I am not pro-enough to claim artistry.
As an emerging artist in 2020, it feels like it is a period of transformative healing. I have to
put myself in the position to create art that is meaningful to me, which has been a very
emotional yet liberating experience. I am starting to notice a lot about myself, the way I
move, the way I write, the way I speak, and the many ways in which I live, inside and outside
of my artistry. Black people need an outlet to alleviate, and I found mine in art. It's an out of
body experience to create movement and dance. It produces joy and self awareness. It is a
destresser, it is recentering. It is about letting your body take you somewhere you have never been.
My soul is the version of me I know best but no one ever gets to see. My soul likes to light incense, meditate, she likes to cook with onions and avocados, she likes to move to the sound of synths, she likes to draw Black girls as beautiful alien creatures, she likes to play pretend and reimagine. Systemic and socially induced trauma is real. It is painful and tricky to heal from, and as a young creative it shut me down without me ever realizing. Now, I am in the beginning of creating a life where everyone gets to see the soul I see, and it has been the most beautiful experience in part thanks to quarantine isolation, and thanks to my beautiful ride-or-die Phoenix community.