I don’t know if you are born an artist, or if you become one. I guess deep down I think everyone is an artist at heart, it’s the human condition to want to create something beautiful and meaningful, but not everyone feeds that particular beast.
I have all these moments from childhood that stand out to me, and lately I’ve been cataloging them to see if they can steer me on the right path since I’ve been feeling a little lost lately. I’ve always been kind of a loner and at age 9 my biggest luxury was to stay home alone and spend all day building and playing with pirate Lego. Pirates appealed to me from a very young age because they had two things I’ve always desired: absolutely freedom and tropical islands.
I could easily spend six hours or more totally engaged building ships and deserted islands with crumbing forts. I had an audio book of Treasure Island that I knew inside out, I had played it so many times, but it always help set the mood. My favorite part is the old, mysterious pirate who arrives at the inn in the beginning. It’s still one of my favorite books.
I liked Barbie dolls well enough; they are pretty and arrive with an array of nicknacks and I’m obsessively detailed oriented. My favorite part was to organize all of their cute things, figure out which outfit belonged to which doll, but they were too complete already for me to really play and get creative with. So as soon as I was old enough to have access to a camera I took my favorite girls and set out into the woods for Barbie photo shoots. My dolls posed on moss, by trees and in small streams. I have no idea what happened to all those photos but I can imagine my mom wasn’t too happy to get billed for dozens of doll photos. It kind of looked something like this… except not really.
Finally, as a teenager, I had a brief love affair with Wicca and witchcraft. I think it was a prelude to being almost-Goth later in high school. This was the dawn of internet as we know it and I exhausted our poor ’95 printer for anything about Wicca I could possibly find, including philosophies and spells, to make my own Book of Shadows. The internet was revolutionary for a kid like me. All of a sudden I was no longer limited to the books and stores I could find in my little town; suddenly I had access to everything. So I wanted to be a witch. Well, actually I wanted to be an actress, but Hollywood was awfully far away so this seemed like a decent second best so I cast spells about becoming an actress in the future. I remember the thing about casting spells is mainly about your intention more than the actual words but it was pretty hard for me to sit in a circle and say ‘I call upon the Goddess of the East, I call upon the Goddess of the South, etc’ while keeping my intentions pure and not ridiculous. I lived and breathed Anne Rice novels. I hoarded stones, salt and chicken bones in dainty little boxes, but my season as a witch was short-lived. Still, when I think back, I can recall my true intention with that little experience. It was about strength, it was about living a beautiful and ethereal life of my own making, in touch with what magic this world holds. It was about female energy and power, and to create a space where it was celebrated.
So I became a writer. For the moment it is fine, although I would like to get back to film as soon as possible. Film will always be my first love, probably because it encompasses almost every single art form there is. Because as much as I love writing, sometimes it just doesn’t feel enough. There are no vivid colors, no real faces and no music. So when I think of stories, I think of film.
I want to end this post with two of the artists that inspire me the most. To me, they both exist in the world I was always trying to create for myself as a child. One is a musician and one is a painter, and if you’ve read my blog for some time this should come as no surprise :)
I’m so in love with the world of Lana Del Rey, where she is glamorous, down-on-her-luck, deadly, dying and always, always in love. It helps that I have been obsessed with old Hollywood my whole life. I’m currently working on a screenplay that I hope will be the best love song to 1940’s Hollywood since Sunset Blvd (1950)! And it’s eerie but I swear I can match a Lana song to every scene I have.
On social media, Charmaine’s entire life is a work of beautiful art. Much like Lana, she has blurred the lines between what is real and what is art and why it can’t be both at the same time. They are strong, deeply female artists that I’m trying to be inspired by, not envy, but it’s so damn hard not to compare yourself to others, and not find yourself lacking. Guess I still have some growing to do, and tomorrow is another day to add more value to my own art. No one said this life would be easy, right?