Scrambling to Create Amidst Our Collective Traumas

I’m an “artist”. I use quotes because a lot of the time I still have major imposter syndrome when it comes to using that word to describe myself. I don’t feel like I’ve earned it.

I see artists on Facebook and Instagram daily, posting sometimes cute, sometimes ironic art influenced by the Pandemic (see all “STAY THE FUCK HOME” illustrations). I see stunning tributes to the absolutely disgusting number of black men who are being murdered in the streets on a daily basis.

And I look at myself and wonder, why can’t I do that? Why am I not doing that?

Is it because I don’t think that my voice is important enough? Or do I just feel like screaming into the collective void isn’t going to do anyone any good? If I’m not using my talents to create work that moves people, that stirs them to action, what really, is the point? I don’t really know.

So as you can see, for me, things have been weird. Because I feel this pressure to create, but I also feel so traumatized on a daily basis by everything going on around us that if I get up, shower, brush my teeth, change my clothes, and remember to eat at least two meals during the day, I’m spent.

I so wish it were as easy as bowing out. Taking a real break. But there are bills that need to be paid. And I don’t have a steady job anymore, and so this has become part of my hustle. Hustle to get likes. Hustle to sell prints. Hustle to set up a new system of working with actors for photoshoot sessions so that I can resume some semblance of income - even though there’s a part of me that feels it’s way too soon.

So if my work isn’t reflective of the times, I’m so sorry. It isn’t because I’m ignoring our collective trauma’s, or because I don’t think that they’re important. I just am not at the point where I can process them creatively. I don’t feel like I’m able to do things to help other’s heal (even though to me that sometimes feels like the artists responsibility) because I’m nowhere close to having processed all of this madness.

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Copyright Amanda Leigh Corbett 2020