Thank you

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After taking some time to step away from the camera, clear my head and get back to a mental state that wasn’t reflective of post grad depression, I’ve finally started shooting and creating again, and god it feels SO GOOD!

It killed me to not pick up my camera every time I had an idea, but I knew I would be gaining more by giving myself a break (and a couple breakdowns) than what I would have lost had I continued to force myself to shoot. Going from being surrounded by a community of artists every day to bounce ideas off of and receive critiques, to no longer having that circling me on a daily basis, hurtled me into a confusing mental spiral faster than anything I’ve ever experienced before.

I once had a professor that would take long term sabbaticals every five or so years for up to two years at a time. I used to think that was crazy because how could an artist allow themselves to not create? But once explained, I learned It’s not that they weren’t creating work during those sabbaticals, but rather they were creating things without any expectation to be producing “good work” whatsoever. A few years later and I finally understand what they were saying. It’s ok to give ourselves a break. It’s ok to pause and be still for as long as we need to be. It’s ok to say no to projects that are presented to us if we choose because only we know how we’re feeling on the inside.

4 years of constant stress and project deadlines can really wear a person down. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by an amazing group of friends and family who did not question my decision to take a step back. Thank you to those people who listened to me rant and vent for hours, who held me up and continued to support me during this break and who have continued to believe in me when I started to doubt myself and my skills. Y’all are the real MVPs and I love and appreciate each and every one of you! Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you all find and feel those connections with the ones in your lives the way Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” reminds me of the love and support I’ve felt from all of you! I’m so excited to start this new chapter and I’m more than ready to be back!

 

-Erika