“It’s why a writer writes, I guess; it’s because they can. That’s the most effective way they can express themselves.” – Tommy, Indie Game: The Movie.
This quote was the biggest thing that stuck with me after watching Indie Game: The Movie, a documentary following the creation of three major indie games. It’s definitely a movie I would recommend to anyone, but especially to those who are interested in creativity and the process of completing a finished product.
The film makers were able to capture all the highs, lows, frustrations and self-doubt that many artists go through in their quest to the finish product. I think it’s something anyone could relate to, whether your choice medium is photography, writing, drawing, sculpting—any art really.
However, I felt that the main thing that struck me with the movie is the idea of creativity and those who find themselves in those types of careers. During one discussion about his childhood, I found myself relating completely with one of the designers who described himself as unable to communicate with people properly, and that if he could, he probably wouldn’t like them anyways. It’s easy a line to laugh off, but it really struck with me as almost an afterthought. It was as though someone reached in my head and was able to perfectly summarize that same feeling of loneliness and misplacement that I’ve been feeling lately.
Creativity seems to be a running theme in my life lately. It was something I felt like I was missing in my previous job, it’s something that I feel like I want to pursue but often find myself unable to commit to anything to really make a career out of it. After watching this movie, I’m struck with the idea that maybe creativity is born of those who are misunderstood. The child who had trouble in school; the child who was unable to make friends and seemed always a bit strange to everyone else. Which brought up the question: Does creativity spark from a dysfunctional life or are we all capable of being creative but only those who cannot express themselves in “traditional” ways the ones who can harness this skill so deftly?
Often, I find myself longing for a life like those who were brave enough to go for it; writers who leap into the life and wrote great stories, corporate drones who quit their jobs to become interior designers, the little boys who grew up to be game designers. I envy their decisions, their talents, their bravery and find myself longing for that. Instead doubt wraps itself around me like an old blanket, keeping me warm and comforting me with the knowledge that I’m not talented enough to become a writer, a designer, an artist.
People speak of following their passions like it’s easy. Just figure out what you’re good at and do it. You’ll figure out a way to make money out of it somehow. Sometimes I feel like I’m so surrounded with people who’ve made successes out of themselves that I wish I heard of more failures. Not in a depressing way, but just to know that there’s someone else out there that had those same doubts, those same problems, maybe even of someone who wasn’t necessarily as naturally gifted as other people.
I guess I’m just looking for more mistakes and in those, humanity. It often feels like people who’ve found their passion are too happy to look back, or maybe they hate looking and remember their mistakes and shortcomings as much as I do.