There are so many stories inside of us. There's the ones we tell others. Polished, practiced, expected. Then there's those stories. The ones that are hard. That sit in our hearts collecting weight. The ones we hide with a layered varnish of dark paint. Afraid that if we expose the truth that we also are exposing our weakness and ugliness. Making ourselves vulnerable to the mocking and harsh judgement of our peers. Exposing all the imperfections we try so hard to keep hidden.
Last fall, I told one of these stories. One that I had let dig into my shoulders and as I carried the heavy weight with me for many years. A story I kept deep within, from a time in my life where I felt completely powerless. A failure. Ashamed. Different.
But I chose to tell it. And by doing so, I determinedly lifted away some of the heaviness, and set it on the ground. Where it could no longer pull me down with its power.
And earlier this year I saw a posting. A call for women creators and artists. A chance to tell their story and be a part of an inspiring publication celebrating and empowering other women and their industries. Giving them a voice and a platform to share a part of their work.
I answered that call and was extremely honoured to have my piece selected for the first issue. The full published submission can be read here.
Abby Klages is the creative and passionate creator behind Normale magazine. I finally got the chance to meet her at the opening night celebrating her first issue. I am truly amazed at her talent and ambition. And her way of artfully putting together a gorgeous masterpiece that lifts up the art and creations of other women. And I can't begin to describe the impact of seeing my own photographs and words in print and the delight of sharing the pages with other creative souls.
We met again one extremely humid and hazy afternoon. It had just poured with rain, puddles scattered on the pavement as we pulled into the parking space. But as we stepped out onto the wet grass and I started taking photos, the sun started gleaming through the trees. Brilliantly illuminating not only the droplets lingering among the leaves of surrounding us, but also the subject before me. A creator herself, who perseveres towards putting her own work out into the world.
"There are so many days where I want to abandon my projects and my dream of working in a creative industry – just send my resume over to the local grocery store and that’s what I’ll do. But then there are other days where everything is going just right and you get back up on your feet and keep working towards your goal....It’s been a hell of a lot a work and some days I really feel like quitting but those days are definitely outweighed by the good days."
"Just remember, not every day is going to be perfect, not everything you try is going to work out on the first go. But giving up and quitting should never be your first answer, or your second."
Normale is an independent arts and lifestyle magazine dedicated to celebrating women in creative industries. Driven to empower women and celebrate their triumphs, acknowledge their struggles, and share their stories and experiences, in order to influence and inspire others.
They aspire to give you a real representation of these creative women, through thoughtfully-curated photo series, essays, poems, interviews, illustrations and multimedia works. And aim not only to inform, but to engage, with voices that are strong, authentic, and wholly present in this ongoing discussion.