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March 1, 2021

"I Paint With My Back to the World"

Lately, I've had the feeling that creating content has made me more isolated.

Despite my initial denial, it was cemented in my head when a few friends made the same observation.

And, I'm not sure how I felt about it, particularly because I knew that it was true.

For around a year now, I've been writing these articles alone, usually in a quiet space.

I script my videos best when I achieve a 'flow' state of uninterrupted work.

And, when it's time to record, edit, upload and share the work, once again, I do it alone.

There's a negligible amount of my creative process that involves speaking to others or being physically surrounded by them.

And, I know, it's never a good thing to be locked away from the comfort of friends, family and society, but how else would I get that work done?

Is there some defence to this madness?

white and brown window curtain

Not too long ago, I came across a quote that made me feel a whole lot better about the necessity of creative isolation:

"Creativity is about connection—you must be connected to others in order to be inspired and share your own work—but it is also about disconnection. You must retreat from the world long enough to think, practice your art, and bring forth something worth sharing with others. You must play a little hide-and-seek in order to produce something worth being found."
- Austin Kleon.

I've been 'connected' all my life.

I connected with people at work, at home, on social media and even in new circles.

What I didn't do enough of, however, was disconnect.

To a world obsessed with instant connection, disconnecting is an act of rebellion.

But, for those who seek to create something unique and meaningful, we need time alone with our thoughts, to practice our craft and unequivocally do the work we were meant to do.

Perhaps, a little isolation might be exactly what we need.

So, I'm being a little bit more forgiving with myself in nurturing that isolation.

Maybe, you should too.

"I paint with my back to the world" - Agnes Martin

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