About a year ago, I was walking through the Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center train station and caught myself gravitating towards a side of a corridor where Antonio Garcia (@antoniogarcia274 on Instagram) had set up some of his art. A combination of impulsivity and genuine joy upon looking at his work led to me buying one of his pieces (which hangs over my bed and which I often look at while I ponder my life decisions). Antonio, being the thoughtful and inspiring person that he is, asked if he could ask me a few questions before I left with the piece.
I don’t remember everything we talked about, but I remember him asking me what success would look like for me. I answered something to the effect of having:
Enough money to take care of myself, those I love, and those who need it when I can spare a couple bucks.
A job I like well enough that doesn’t make me want to kill myself.
My music out in the world and to play for small audiences who care about me.
I told him I didn’t dream of sold-out stadium tours or playing for the masses, just playing for people who were invested in my music at coffee shops and bars and small, intimate venues.
Fast forward to the present, and I’ve accomplished the last and what seemed to be the most unrealistic of those metrics of success (and ironically neither of the more practical ones). Since participating in my first public showcase in August of 2022 to now, I’ve released my first single, performed at 3 more events, and started collaborating with other artists and organizations on creating more music.
All the while, I’ve continued writing other non-musical works and submitting them to zines for fun and for the pleasure of holding my work on glossy paper.
But I essentially was forced into a creative hiatus for a few months. As a 23-year-old, I was taking jobs I wasn’t compatible with, that drained me and left me unable to make art. There wasn’t time for writing music, a joy I’d come to expect and demand as a right of my existence. I’d spend my lunch breaks working on this website, dreaming of when I’d be able to be more creative than deciding on how to arrange blocks of text.
So I quit my job. Being in your early 20’s is probably the most acceptable time to do something like that. With the abundance of time I suddenly had, I applied to jobs and tried to build up a social media presence, even facing the horror that is TikTok.
Of course, I also continued to chip away at this website. Seeing most of my work in one place has put in perspective how much I’ve created. This is the tip of the iceberg: the vast majority of my creative works will never leave my phone and notebooks.
I’m quite proud of myself, and that’s really what this website is about: it’s an opportunity to share that which I’m proud of that isn’t really acceptable for LinkedIn.
I look forward to updating this website, aesthetically and with more content as I create and share more music, writing, and performances.