Two of my earliest memories are suffering from stomach aches and being obsessed with crafting. I would spend hours decorating my moms home in paper cutouts for each holiday, coloring books stacked around my room, writing in my journal before I could even really spell, and feeling overwhelmed most of the time.
I spent most of my time alone on the playground, not being able to connect with kids my age but connecting immensely with my elementary school art teacher. I would skip recess so I could instead spend time with her creating papier-mâché or sculpting.
The only refuge I ever truly found was through any form of creativity.
Flash forward to my 20s where I suffered from massive anxiety attacks, racing thoughts, nervousness, no sleep for days. I didn’t want to take medication or go to therapy, I wanted it to stop, my parents only answer was to pray for me because they didn’t understand or relate to how I was feeling.
And then one day I picked up a camera, my life forever changed.
I had tried many mediums of art before but this one stuck, I found my flow in photographing joyful moments. My speciality was shooting weddings, engagements, and families. The happiness of others and capturing that joy was my therapy and my healing outlet.
I took my photography skills all the way to Paris, France moving there at the age of 25 without speaking a word of French or knowing a soul.
Paris spoke to my creative soul. I felt the energy of all the creatives who had lived and died there before me. The architecture, the food, the people, it all drew me deeper into the playful world of artists.
My photography business exploded into a thriving job and I was living in my dream city while healing from my hopeful job.
And then the coronavirus hit.
Being an outdoor portrait travel photographer was no longer a choice. But when work came to a screeching halt something hit me more than the thought of my empty bank account.
Creativity is alive and well and can be used to heal the world, not just us sensitive folk. I saw the life of video making on tiktok explode, the internet flooded with camera tutorials, and zoom baking parties. People are learning how to dance, sew, garden, cook!
Being trapped inside with our thoughts and no escape has turned out to be one of the best things to happen to this planet.
People are rethinking what matters in life and themes of family, creating, and gratitude keep reoccurring. Our planet is healing and we are healing with it.
Before the act of creating was seen as silly by general society. Who has time for scrapbooking or painting when you should be out being productive, making money, being serious. Play is for children, enjoy it while it lasts kids!
But this is no longer the case. Humans were born to create, even if you feel you don’t have a creative bone in your body, it’s just not true. We evolved because we have imaginations, we are the only animals on the planet who create fiction and imagine things. If we are not creating we are not living.
Because of the coronavirus, people are able to rediscover the gift of the imagination. Parents and kids are coming together to make silly videos and laugh together. They are sharing their art with the world through the internet, they are inspiring others to try creativity with their boredom and willingness to try.
During my time in Paris, I have met many creative people who have inspired me and I am taking this time to give that inspiration back. I have created a podcast called “La Vie Creative” where I interview unknown artists weekly who were inspired by France, just like me.
They share their obstacles and resources so that listeners can be inspired to search out their inner gifts as well. I feel that putting a voice to creativity gives it more strength and feasibility. So many of my guests accidentally discovered their craft and I feel the same is happening to people around the world.
Playing with creation while watching and listening to others will only help us come out on the other side of this pandemic as a happier healthier population. I hope this time will shine light on how healing artistry can be.