Adventures in Authenticity

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we areBrene Brown

Recently, that Brene Brown quote has been ringing true in my ears. I guess you could say that the transition to fall and a fuller plate brought us some early blog/work/life growing pains, and all the wonderful “a ha” moments that come along with learning those lessons.

The role of authenticity in artistic expression is a huge topic. Personally, I think the best works of art are revealing. They provide a glimpse into their subjects, and invite the audience to see a bit of themselves reflected. Luke and I have been thinking a lot about artistic authenticity since we started writing the blog. How do we stay true to ourselves in this platform? How much should we share? Where are the boundaries? There’s a lot of power in deciding what we want the world to see and how they see it. For the sake of transparency, letting go of the “who we think we’re supposed to be” is tough! We are on a quest to discover the creative truth and the difficulties are part of that.

Lately, we’ve been feeling a little stress over sharing things with the world. We’ve been pretty down on ourselves. We’ve created some internal pressure for every project to be “good” What does that mean anyway? and every post to be meaningful. Plus, we want people to think it’s cool. I think most artists feel something like this before sharing their work. The creative process is deeply personal and undoubtedly there are lots of emotions wrapped up in it. When it comes to Rabble & Twine we’re holding ourselves to a high standard because we’re super passionate it about it! We care about the content we’re bringing to this conversation. We’re not looking to simply fill the space with words. We want to make sure we are putting something out there that adds value and that we can be proud of.

Full disclosure: we’d be lying if we said we hadn’t had the stressful “I’m scared I’m not cut out this. I hate creating. Why did I ever think this was a good idea? Maybe we should quit.” moment more than once. It happens to me almost every time I create something. We’re real people and sometimes we HATE EVERYTHING. But all I have to do is picture the alternate reality version of our lives to decide against it. That’s not what we want right now, we want a bold, creative, art full life where we get to talk about the creative process until the cows come home! We might need a reminder every once in a while that we’re creating this balance for ourselves. The process is our own and a big part of that is embracing who you we are (even when we hate everything) along with it.

It boils down to creative bravery. Putting your authentic self out there. Risk taking and trusting yourself in the process. Chasing the things that make YOU happy, curious, and fulfilled. It’s not easy but it’s worth it. Shit happens, things fail, and this is creating thing is a lot of work! For the sake of longevity you’ve got to cut yourself some slack. Learn from your experiences and stay true to what is right, comfortable, and creatively exciting for you. Authentic art is sincere; true to its vision and intent. Bring the REALNESS! Don’t let the fear of the “supposed to” stifle your creative experience.

In the film I Heart Huckabees, there is a scene where the characters repeat the phrase “How am I not myself?” I love that movie and that question! Don’t you think people should ask themselves that question more often? Especially artists. Look at you body of work and ask “How am I not myself?” See what happens. Art always echoes back to the artist. Their views, experience, what they are trying to say, and how they choose to say it. I fear for a culture based on filtered and manufactured personalities and images. I think it is time we enter into an age of embracing authenticity. It can be hard to “put yourself out there” (however you choose to reveal it) but in the end I think people will respect you for it.

  • What choices could you make to feel more like your authentic self?
  • How could you make your intent more clear or in tune with what you want to represent in the world?
  • What does your unique creative voice have to say? SPEAK UP!

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