The death of a young creative person

I recently got this message relayed to me from my wife who runs my Facebook page

I responded to the email and tried to be nice and supportive like I always try to do when I get emails from people that like what I do/are trying some crazy creative endeavor of their own- sometimes it takes me forever to reply but I replied about a week after I got this message-

A few weeks later my wife told me that she saw a message from that same person on my "fan" Facebook page- I don't use Facebook so I don't totally understand how it works but anyway- it was a message from this young person's family letting people know that he had committed suicide-

She showed it to me and this part was particularly sad-


So this kid was gearing up to make a stop motion animated movie- his dream will never be completed- that makes me sad-

I know everyone has a dream at some point and most don't get to see it realized-

Why would he kill himself when he's about to make his dream film?

He told me he was inspired by my work- he probably saw my first film We Are The Strange- when I made that film I was depressed- I would break down in tears very often while making it- I thought about suicide a lot- because I felt pathetic-

This is how I felt at the time-

I was supposed to be an "adult" a "man" and I was alone playing with dolls while other people my age were "successful"- going out with friends- dating, getting married- making lots of money-traveling-

I was alone making crappy animation that looked terrible- everything seemed like a 5 year old made it- I had given up on everything else in life for this? I doubted myself- Some times after shooting some stop motion I would review it and I would cry- because it was so awful- I threw everything else away in my life- I gave everything up for this? For this shitty animation with these shitty dolls?!

The pressure of life- of "getting a real job" - of conforming- of being like person A, B, or C who was successful- the pressure from being told that you needed to "grow up" to "be realistic" - To do something that "had a future" all that pressure added to the pressure of trying to create some grand production by yourself without a bunch of money- thats enough to crush you-

I was almost crushed- The abnormal thought process that got me out of it was this- I'd say to myself "if it ever gets too bad I'll just kill myself" I would go online and research suicide methods- and I would feel comforted knowing that I had a way out- if need be- I know it was not healthy- but it is how I handled things-

Knowing there was a way out- freed me up to stop giving a shit so much- I stopped crying all the time- what the fuck did I care? If everything fell apart and there was no hope I had a way out- thats what I thought at the time- short sighted as I was-

With that "worry" out of the way I focused more on the film and did the shitty things over and over until they were less shitty- nowhere near perfect- far from good- but less shitty-

I told myself "Its not perfect but its mine" and that gave me a little jolt of pride- it gave me a little boost that helped me go on- I still use that inspiration today-

Later while I was working on my second film I had a dream in which a line of cars was stopped at a train crossing- I walked up to the front of the line and saw a raggedy man with a beard laying on the ground with his head on the tracks- I watched as the train slowly rolled forward and crushed his skull killing him- when I woke up from that dream- this thought was in my head- "suicide is never the answer- things can always get better"

Thats the attitude I still hold today-

Fuck killing yourself! Just have some patience- let the bullshit pass- or get away from the bullshit however you can just don't become a junky- that'll lead you back to killing yourself- 

Go for a walk- do something different- go for a run- start learning something new- write a book- read a book-

You might not have the life you want today or tomorrow or next week or next month or next year- good things usually take a long time to happen- long periods of time with you working your ass off in obscurity- with no fan-fare- with no support-

Be stubborn- who ever or whatever is fucking with you making you feel this way- don't let it/them win- refuse to lose- fight in desperation to win- win your life back from whoever or whatever took it- 

Get it back and fight to make it the best you can- as long as you are alive your dream is alive- it might be a TINY, TINY ember- but its still alive.

There is still time no matter your age if you are willing to fight for your dream.

FIGHT FOR IT!

I'm projecting in assuming that this kid that killed himself had similar stresses to me that lead to his decision- I just wanted to share that for anyone else that might be in a similar situation-

Life is hard- its even harder if you choose a "creative" passion in a world that values how much money you make and how famous you are and little else.

This bullshit status quo is temporary- it will get better. Struggle- live through it- fight- be desperate- its ok if you cry and feel like a complete loser- IF you are trying your best you know you are not- if you are not trying your best GET TO IT!

If you are thinking of doing it- suicide- An hero- whatever- don't do it-

If you need someone to talk to you can often find me on skype as "mdotstrange" I might not answer right away but I will.

I don't have a lot of time each day to talk/type to people BUT if someone is really in trouble and you can help them by talking to them- you should always have time.

Photo by Yr.



Comments

  1. That really hit me hard. You are a true artist that puts your heart on your sleeve and leave yourself open to connect with everyone in your sphere of influence and that means alot to me and all your other fans alot. May his spirit move on in peace and bless you M for all you do man.

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  2. Very moved by your ideas and shared feelings. I, too, have gone through this despair and come out the other side because because because I wont' give up. You give very good advice. I'm going to pass this on so more people can hear your words.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this story, as an artist who is just starting out, I think about these things a lot. You are truly a huge inspiration.

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  4. I Follow your work from Brazil since your first movie. I've been through so much since then, but every once in a while I remember you, your work, your stubborn yet down to earth approach toward creation, and somehow I feel better. Facing such a sad story mixed with your career cannot make you forget of the many silent creators that follow you....even if once in while.

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  5. Thanks for this - as someone who sold-out their artist dreams to make money instead, I too struggle with thoughts of suicide - thinking it is too late now in my life to redeem my creative life.

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