How I Create My Melancholy Artwork

Most of my artwork is not the most happy thing in the world. I have yet to make something that doesn’t inherently have anything dark or sad in it (ok maybe that’s not entirely true but still). However, I know that my life experience is mostly the reason why my content is the way that it is.

People have told me that I’m nice and wholesome and that notion of me completely conflicts with my content. So why do I still gravitate towards making content like such when for me at the moment life is pretty ok? Well no matter how much life gets better there’s still a cruel world to brave. Being shy and unassuming growing up, I’ve done my fair share of people watching and seeing how those around me react.

To me making that sort of content feels like that only thing I can do well. When it’s time for an assignment, I feel like I have to do something dark and sorrowful. I can’t stop till I create that story in my mind.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram!

There was one short film I made last semester as well as a sequel to that today. It had a character distressingly painting some sort of mess of a work. When I presented that work in class for my final, my professor played it 3 times in front of the class. I was extremely uncomfortable because A. I’m shy and B. that was a creepy and weird piece.

I try to make myself uncomfortable developing the story. Working on my semester long project now, I have added elements to try and make the story more unnerving as it is about one of my fears. With one of the outfits that I wore during the shoot, I felt so miserable and despondent. However, I knew that this outfit was needed for the story to come through.

Speaking of fears- that has been such an inspiration. It is the one thing I can say that helps with creating content. One thing that I do is intentionally scare myself with stories, movies and YouTube videos. I myself have a lot of fears so that is not too hard to do. For me I always feel like I can be one step to losing myself and that is a great fear of mine reflected in my work. When you know something well like fear it’s easy.

So the next step for me is then is how will I convey that message to others. Many things are collectively strange to all of us. However, clashing a creepy story with something positive like bright colors or something common and changing it up a little makes the viewer confused on what they’re watching.

I wish I could say more on how I come up with this weird way of storytelling but unless you’ve encountered some cultish environment and been in constant psychological and emotional distress growing up, I don’t really know what to say. I’ve seen a thing or two and I know many other people have as well.

The greatest piece of advice I can give is create something good out of a bad situation. Some great piece of artwork can come out of it. I guess you could say that the way I craft my artwork is just me purging my demons. I do hope that because of it I will become a better storyteller. That is what my end goal is regardless of anything else.

The Power of Film and Writing

These weeks of quarantine have been rough for me as a film student. Most of the time, I’m taking care of my family and then I have my classes. In all the time in between, I have no motivation as I’m just tired and fatigued. I was so exhausted that I did not realize an important day come and go. 

That day was March 26. Now you may be wondering “well ok, who cares?” And honestly the day doesn’t have to matter, it’s something that I’ve always kept to myself until now. March 26, 2013 was the day I decided that I was going to live. I think I’m pretty dramatic at times but in this case I was serious. Life really sucked then. It was the first time I ever saw death and at the same time I was being coerced by my peers in some weird drama. With both events happening at the same time, I became extremely depressed and those were the darkest moments of my life. 

I don’t know how it happened that day, but I was watching some films and it was the first time I was able to purge all my bottled up emotions and cry for the first time. Not even in the funeral was able to cry and I was right in the front of the entire wake, mass, and burial. In that year, I did not have something to turn to so film became my comfort. It was that day I realized the power of film. 

Now I’m not saying that watching films cured my depression because it did not. I’m saying that it was a great help in me coming out of that darkness. I was able to see some hope in the stories and characters portrayed. Looking back, it was great that I made that decision that day because a few months later, life just went downhill completely for nearly 3 years. 

I held in my heart that I would study filmmaking. If film changed my life and gave me some motivation to live then I would give back and hopefully do the same for others. That was true then and it still is now. From that point on, I began writing seriously.

When I started the horrors of my unusual high school years, I would write almost every single day developing stories. Besides writing in school, I would write in bed through the night and in church. I always carried a little notebook with me everywhere which has now been replaced with the notes app on my phone. The compilation of stories of those three years are some of the darkest, horrifying and most painful stories I’ve come up with. Even now looking back, I’m scared of it.

It was a weird process in that time. I would write stories to try to escape my painful reality and in turn I have content for films of all sorts. Now when I develop stories and even poems, I sometimes try to go back to that mindset of those 3 years to help me. It does help but unfortunately it takes a toll on my mental wellbeing because it was a traumatic time.

Click the image to see the short film on Instagram!

Even though I have developed my story style because of what I went through, I still have trouble seeing the good in those moments. But anyway, films are an art and sometimes a very powerful art. It helped me get through some dark moments and in turn I was able to write stories. I would say pick up a pen (or the notes app) and just start writing. Even if you are battling the toughest moments, I promise you, it can help and you may be able to have a film script bloom from it.