Sorting Through my Fears

Sorting through my Fears

Another chapter in my life has begun and yet, I am struggling to leave much of my fears behind. They’ve forever tagged along with every chapter of my life. Although I’ve embraced most of my fears, using the things I’m afraid of as a catalyst to propel me through adversities and life itself, I still wonder what it’s like to be fearless. Always wishing I had the luxury of not fearing “this thing” or “that thing”.  Paradoxically, fear has given me reasons to live; reasons to move on.

My first year in graduate school, I focused on issues surrounding sustainability. I was investigating work conditions, the work ethics, dissatisfactions of garment factory workers. I attempted to work and then create a product from place of empathy and by replicating their duties. However, as summer began all I could think about is fear, my fears. Whenever I would try to visualize the kind of art I would make for the upcoming year, it all surrounded the topic of fear. Fear, fear, fear. I kept wondering how I could have a drastic change in emotions towards my art, or what I wanted to express. How did I go from sustainability to fear? How are they related?

I was in the fifth grade when I first learned about the ozone layer. I remember being terrified after that science lesson. I was so scared, yet activated to learn that the ozone layer was breaking down and that it was the fault of us humans. That fear of losing our planet due to pollution made me a public waste collector for months. It was my first real scare of our sustainability issues.

In an article written by Khe Hy, that talks about distinguishing “fear” from the “fear of fear” being the key to leading a happy life, there was familiar quote. “The only way to not fear being punched in the face is being punched in the face. But I’m not sure if this the solution to my worries. After reading this article, I thought it was important for me to sort out whether I fall in the “fear” or “fear of fear category”, or perhaps somewhere else altogether. They say the best way to deal with your fears is to unpack them. So, I’ll attempt to do so through art.

Potential Goal(s)

To search for that inside myself that blocks out fear and have that manifest into works of art.

What would that “thing” look like?

Questions to answer regarding my fears

What does being fearful look like?

How does my fears make me feel?

What does my defense look like?

Do I really want to get rid of all my fears? If so, what will I become, or how will that change me?

The “thing” that I’m searching for, can it stop the fear if its found?

What are those things you are scared of?

Am I supposed to be more fearful as time passes?

Is there any joy I get from being afraid?

People and Things that inspire me


Gareth Pugh

Animals that transform or change shape when they feel threatened or afraid

Materials that are fragile or soft that because strong and sturdy in abundance

Shapes reminiscent of shields

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