Social Media and its impact on our everyday life is a topic that has been discussed a lot. All opinions of this phenomena are not positive, and sure there is a lot to be careful about while exposing ourselves online. But today I would like to point out one of the amazing things about it, and that is the opportunity to find a community of like-minded people. I have started posting on Instagram about a year ago, and within that time, I have found a lot of amazing bookstagrammers, who share my passion for reading and writing. It is my great pleasure to share an interview I have done with one of them, a multi-talented artist and a beautiful soul Rachel Tremblay.
Why do you write, paint, sing?
As long as I can remember, I sang and tinkered with the piano, played guitar. My parents are both musicians, and when I was a small child, my dad was in the thick of recording, releasing, and promoting his music album which I still listen to with fondness. Guitars littered the living room. There was a practice room in our basement. And when I showed interest in painting, my parents supported me. They always encouraged the arts. That being said, it was quite natural that I grew up drawing and writing music and writing stories and poetry. My school teachers also encouraged me in those same domains. The fact that I still do those things today, and that I’ve made them my craft, I am very grateful for.
I’ve kept at these things because they are extremely fulfilling for me. Birthing a new song, typing up a fresh novel, expressing complex emotions through poetry, laying the first approach on a blank canvas, there’s nothing like it. It’s like a beautiful hunger deep in the soul that is fed only by the doing. I would assume that anyone who loves what they do and can’t imagine living without it, would feel the same way.
That’s the first reason why I write, paint, and play music.
The second reason is that we exist in this world, we have to do something, choose a direction. Would not choosing what we love most ensure that we will give our fullest to that work, and therefore to humanity, more than through any other work we could do? Life is short; we have a part to play, let’s be passionate about it.
I like to reference to a book by Sir Ken Robinson called the Element. He says that the thing you should do, your element, like when we say someone’s “in their element,” is the place where what you love to do and what you are good at meet. Sometimes we love something that we suck at, or we are very good at something we really don’t enjoy. So the arts are my element. I love what I do, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it.
What are you afraid of and why?
My biggest fear is wasting my life’s effort. So many artists are recognized posthumously, and that is no comfort to me. I have a family, and I’d love to live a level of success to contribute to my family’s well-being. Also, some success would mean that people are experiencing and appreciating my work. What good is a book that is not read, or a painting that is not hung? With visual art, it’s a bit different since people see it on their phone, like it, comment, and move on. It’s experienced, but not in a real way. The image on the phone is nothing compared to standing in front of the real thing.
Yet, every time someone tells me they have my songs on their playlist or loved my book, or appreciate my art (even though they might’ve only seen it on their phone), it is a success to me. It’s a spiritual paycheck.
What is the purpose of your life?
To work in my craft the best I can, to always keep growing. I think we’re here to offer something positive to the world, to become agents of peace and advancement.
Also raising my children is, and has been, a job I take as a huge privilege. Them becoming beautiful, healthy adults that contribute something positive to the world is the biggest success of all.
What would you change in the world if you could?
I’d eliminate prejudice and would want to see every soul thinking for themselves, seeing through their own eyes and their own hearts, independently researching the truth.
Are people generally good or bad?
I think all people are intrinsically good! How they are raised, whether they are mentally unstable, or just ignorant can affect how good they seem. Some people might consciously and knowingly choose to hate, to be greedy and cruel, and those are unfortunate.
Redeemable? Always! People can change, and no one knows their own end. If you strip away everything, we are all made of the same good, spiritual substance.
What would be your one tip or advice for other artists?
I’d say stay authentic in your work, whether or not it appeals to the trends. When you’re shaping what you make according to what people are buying, as opposed to listening to what your soul has to say, it’s not art anymore. It’s a product. Artists expose their soul, they are vulnerable because they are real, and when someone criticizes their work, it hurts. And that’s part of the game.
And we can grow and learn from it, either by hearing the criticism or brushing it off. In any case, you just can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. It’s impossible. So be yourself.
I understand we gotta pay the bills. It would be better to at least to keep a balance between what you do for art, and what you do for commerce. The dream is that they become one and the same! I like to quote Picasso who said: “A painter is a man who paints what he sells; an artist, on the other hand, is a man who sells what he paints.” I think that applies to all artistic domains.
Tell us more about yourselves in comments. Are you an artist? What do you do to keep your soul dance?