Why do we resonate with individuals who are willing to put their most delicate sides on display?
The most soulful pieces of artistry, have always held a league of their own when creators open themselves up.
We’re drawn to honesty, the ugly side of life, the vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies.
Most often we’re too afraid to let that side shine in our work, without realising that it is that very side of your soul that makes up the most reflective work.
Think of a song, a book, a documentary, a movie, a piece of poetry which has stayed with you; made you reflect upon yourself — which has held a special place in your heart and mind.
We try to conceal this side, because too often we’re uncomfortable with the exposure, maybe even afraid of being ridiculed.
It’s okay, because I too struggled with revealing my vulnerable side — owning up to it.
Know that this is side that makes us human, and as creators — we must project our vulnerabilities to create work which resonates.
Think of some of the greatest artists, and how their work was always deeply personal.
They were taking risks by putting on display, a side most would be too afraid to reveal.
These moments of honesty, pure raw emotion — draw the audience towards you, not away from you.
Because you’ll find that someone somewhere far along this world — too shares the same experience, a similar spectrum of emotions.
David Foster Wallace, Eminem, Joan Didion, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elliott Smith, Adam Duritz, Amanda Palmer, Mitch Hedberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Channy Leaneagh; to name a few that I can personally relate to — all essentially hold a special place, through their brutal portrayals of pain.
In creating the work that we wish for others to relate to, one must be honest with themselves.
Be able to own up to who we are as individuals, and bravely pen down what it is that fuels our soul.
This inner energy is the essence of artistry.
It takes a piece of soul to develop something that will leave a lasting impact.
Eminem talking about his mother and love for his daughter — even going as far as to talk about his tumultuous relationship with his ex wife.
Joan Didion reflecting on losing a child and a husband.
Elliott Smith projecting his insecurities and anxiety.
Mitch Hedberg fumbling through one-liners whilst coping with stage fright.
These pieces leave a lasting impact, because they’re so brutally honest — we can’t help but be drawn to them.
Just read the comments left behind, as testimonials, to understand how this piece affected people.
Too many individuals in this masked society wish to project a false image of themselves, they conceal their vulnerabilities through fakery, and whilst it may resonate with an audience drawn to such hubris and gullibility.
It’s empty and a hollow reflection.
It’s not cliché to say “Let your inner light shine” — don’t hide this precious side of your identity, but rather use it — explore it, and put it on display.
Proudly proclaim “This is who I am and whilst I may not be perfect, I’m proud of my identity; my insecurities.”
To truly create something that penetrates the soul, it takes a lot more courage to reveal rather than mask our identity.
A cloud of fakery can only last so long; it’s the most soulful pieces of our emotions that shine the brightest and leave the audience in awe.
With that thought, I leave you with my favourite pieces of raw emotion and how it leaves me speechless every single time.
Credits, Charles Barkley — he dedicated it to his mother.