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The Art I Made in January
Creative Spaces for Safety and Self-Acceptance
Progressively, working on my drawings and illustrations feels meditative and calming. The blank canvas is entirely at my disposal to do whatever I want without judgment or criticism from any outside force. When I set the tip of my pencil on the paper, it is as if I am growing a flower in a desert and finding wholeness and beauty where there was none before.
There’s a sense of safety in this—one that I find hard to come by in other parts of my life.
Ever since I was a child, I have been conditioned to seek approval from other people. Good grades impressed my teachers and parents. Cute clothes caught the eye of potential suitors or some desire to feel hip and accepted. A thinner body made me feel more attractive to everyone.
I look back at my life and wonder why I needed, or thought I needed, so much approval. Could I not simply be enough just as I was? Why did I have to try so hard?
My awareness of this dynamic has grown with time, and impressing people is not the priority it once was. Even though I love it when people appreciate my films, music, and other creative works, I understand that their thoughts and feelings are out of my control. As such, I do not need to allow praise and adulation to have so much power over me.
Making art, whether on a piece of paper or at my piano, gives me the space to be myself without worrying about anyone else’s feelings or behavior. Whatever I create is an extension of me and how I see the world. This makes for a sustainable and compassionate way to lead one’s own life—to have a space where I can feel free and uninhibited. Self-fulfillment and contentment can bloom in these wide-open spaces.
I am enough just as I am, and my work, at the deepest level, does not need anyone else’s approval.
This is, finally, just fine by me.
A Note About the Art:
Drawings by Roqué Marcelo. This is an ongoing series of abstract flowers and plants sketched in pencil.
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