Since I started in the creative industry, I’ve often wondered who my audience is and why they come to see my work. Before I started on Youtube, I was worried that I wouldn’t have an audience, and that my work wouldn’t be recognized by viewers. At the time, I didn’t know who I was as a person, or as a creator. I spent far too much time worried about what others thought of my content, rather than what I thought. It’s important to know your audience, but it’s more important to know yourself. I would never want to post content for anyone else but myself, if my heart isn’t in it then I don’t see a point to just conform to the interests of others. I never want to lose myself in my work, and so far I haven’t done so. I’ve managed to stay as true to myself as possible, but it wasn’t always like that.
When I first dipped my foot into the creative industry, I was fighting to make myself known, I would take any offer thrown my way because I thought it was the only way to keep my foot in the door. There were times I was creating and I didn’t even want to be, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to say to people. Although I’ve been working in the creative industry for about a year and a half now, picking up shoots, and different video opportunities; I wouldn’t actually consider myself part of the creative industry up until a couple of months ago. Although I was shooting, I didn’t feel creative, I would make the same face, make the same poses and have the same mind set- that I honestly didn’t know what I was doing on set. It wasn’t until I fully hit rock bottom in my life that I started to feel creative.
I realized that I was in an extremely negative place in my life, that involved too many people from my past. It wasn’t about forgiving people, it came down to letting go of old relationships and ties that weren’t helping me move on in my own life. Come to think about it now, it wasn’t that hard to let go of all the negative things. Since then I’ve seen an exponential increase in creativity in my life. By taking out all the negative people that surrounded me, I was able to focus on self growth and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made. I realized that I had a far greater say in creative decisions than I once thought, and that it was encouraged by other creatives to pitch my wildest ideas. Anything that I’ve created, or been apart of since this past summer, my heart has completely and fully invested in it.
This week, I shot with a new photographer, Edwin Tsang (@edwin_tsang_). He wanted to capture me in a white dress and a straw hat at golden hour. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find a white dress, but I found something else that was more fitting for my personality and he ended up liking my choice better than what was on his mood board. We shot at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, and it reminded me so much of home. As I stood in front of his lens, I started reflecting on how far I’ve come. As I looked out on the horizon, I realized that I was at peace with myself and everything in my life.
In the early part of the summer, I was unsure of what I was doing and to be quite honest, I was completely lost with myself as a person. Everytime something wouldn’t work out in Vancouver, I found myself on the next ferry ride back to Vancouver Island. I would use going home as an escape, when in reality it didn’t solve any of my problems.
When I went home, I surrounded myself with people that didn’t push me to be the best version of myself. Although all of these people I’ve known since day one, I realized that I wasn’t in the same head space as them anymore. I wanted so much more from life than what I could get from within a small town. I moved back to Vancouver permanently in mid July, and I told myself that I wouldn’t step foot on another ferry until I started creating for myself. As I looked out at the water, I realized that in three months I had done just that and so much more. As a person, I’ve let go of so many negative aspects of my life that affected the way I created. When I create, I create for myself. I create because I want to create, because it makes me happy. I don’t create for anyone else, and I’m not concerned that people are going to judge my content or creative decisions.
I know who I am, I know what I want to say and I’m not worried about who wants to hear it or not. I’m not exactly sure who my audience is, but I know they come to watch my content because it’s 100% fully me. My audience will never define what I create, unless I lose myself again.