I have always been a creative person without the confidence to share the things that I created. Creativity and art are such important parts of our culture because they are a means of communication which touches others in ways that resonate a just a little stronger. It may be difficult for many people to share their creativity and art because it’s often such a vulnerable action. And I know for myself what it boils down to is fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of judgement. Fear of failure, shame and regret. Then back to the dark hole from whence these creations came, where they die alone in waste. Some people are born with that natural gift of IDGAF I’m going to say what I want, make what I want, share what I want and if you like it cool, if not… Bye! This article is not for you. This article is for the person who plays their guitar alone in their room recording themselves knowing damn well no one will ever hear it. This is for the poet reciting their prose on the drive to work, pretending to be mouthing the words to WAP when stopped at the traffic light. This is for the painter whose stained fingers solemnly slides another finished canvas behind another finished canvas. Please do not let fear prevent you from connecting and communicating what you express in your art.
You never know who it will touch, what friends you will make, or the affects it may have on you to finally let your work stand in the sun. Will it get rejected? Yes. Will you be judged? Yes. Will you fail, feel shame and regret pushing the post button? Hell to the yes. But what you will gain is a stronger sense of confidence. A better sense on whose judgement really matters (Yours!). You’ll make friends who support, not followers who gawk and point. And in my opinion, if you’re an artist in the closet, nothing will feel better than coming out and being you’re authentic self. Art is a means of self expression and if you choose to do it for leisure and for your own pleasure, more power to you! But if you feel you’re dying to sign up for that open mic, or slowly collecting the confidence to drop the mixtape, or have your finger on the post button for a skit you made on Tiktok, I hope you fucking push that shit.
That being said, I’d like also to talk about platforms. Here you can take a little bit from my experience. Creators, belong on Tiktok. This is a shameless ode to my recently found favorite platform and how it separates from Instagram and Youtube. If you are a photographer, stay on instagram. And I’m sure many people already know the differences and I’m just late to the party but in my experience, no one is doing the vulnerable deed of putting out works of art unapologetically like Tiktok. Never again will you have to worry about feeling alone amongst the drone of beer cheers boomerangs, perfect proposal pictures and scenic still shot sunsets on instagram while you’re hair windmilling to Metallica in your dirty room. Do not post that on instagram. And you can think about posting that on Tiktok. Which brings me to another point which I will address later, posting with discretion. There’s a fine line between vulnerability and oversharing, but there is a line. And that’s for each person to decide. I digress, for now. If you’re gonna post that video of you hair windmilling to Metallica on Tiktok, chances are you’re doing it because you saw another person doing it and jumped on the trend. Which is a great way to feel comfortable about creating things and putting them out there. Vulnerability begets vulnerability. And for many people it may not seem like a vulnerable action, to get on camera and do something dumb, yet fun, that everyone else is doing. However, this is for the tortured artists. The tiktokers specifically who’ve been standing outside the double dutch for months, nay years, paralyzed (Gen Z: Double Dutch?).
Tiktok is a great place to begin working up the courage to post the things that mean the most to you. Chances are there are people, normal people just like you and me, who are posting things that you want to post! Art, music, drama, comedy you name it! Connect with those people! Connect with other people who follow those people because you’ll find some are doing the same kinds of art and posting them! Tiktok, in my eyes, is a home for vulnerability. Where you can gain inspiration from others who are being vulnerable in hopes that one day you can do the same. It is a feat for some I understand. I am with you. I am one of you. Which leads me back to the point about vulnerability and oversharing. There are realms of the tiktok which I need not name nor shall I, however, use discretion when posting things about your personal life, mental health, your boyfriend or girlfriend drama etc. etc. If you can barely work up the courage to show others a flower you drew on a coffee napkin, probably not the best idea to delve into your mental health records on camera in front of strangers.
All jokes aside, art is a way to express deep emotions. Some uncomfortable and down right horrific emotions can be the most beautiful because they resonate with others in such a visceral way. If that’s your art my friend, you have a gift, a gift which should be held onto responsibly until you are in a place emotionally, mentally and spiritually to release that part of you into the world. It may never happen and that’s okay too! What’s not okay is posting something you’re not fully ready to post. And only you can know what that looks like. If you’re over ridden with shame and anxiety don’t post it or take it down. There is no shame in waiting til you’re ready, or in deciding you’ve made the wrong move! Dust yourself off and look towards your next creation. What I don’t want to see on Tiktok is fellow creators deleting their accounts because they feel they’ve over exposed themselves, go back to instagram and never coming back. I recently had a friend who felt they had done just that. She was threatening to delete her Tiktok and stay on Instagram. Which she did. For two days. In which time she confessed to me that instagram was “too boring”. To which I replied, “You are a creator. You belong with other creators”. And I will say that again to you reader, you are a creator. You belong with other creators. Will the road to full artistic expression and creative endeavors be fraught with trolls, naysayers and haters? Yup. But don’t let the biggest troll, naysayer and hater be you. Yourself. Often times, as you will come to find, it is.
Domestic Violence Specialist; Future Mental Health Counselor
Author: Passi Iafeta
@passifiasili_ on IG
@passii3 on tiktok