Grief as Artistic Muse

Do artists make their best work when they are experiencing or recovering from grief, trauma, loss or heartbreak? Lately I have been wondering whether this is true, if artwork made under duress is somehow more 'authentic'.

Someone dear to my heart is no longer around in my life, and it hurts a lot. At first, it took me days to pick up my camera. It eventually occurred to me that I couldn’t NOT pick up my camera. My camera is my lifeline, my friend, my partner in crime, and hopefully, one day soon, my ticket to success.

So I shoot. I shoot to forget. I shoot to remember. I shoot to feel better. I shoot to feel something that is not emptiness. I shoot often, more often, as often as I can. Because photography is a solitary endeavor, alone with just my thoughts and camera, all I can do is keep pressing the shutter, hoping each photo will bring me a little more relief, a little closer to feeling like myself again.

I’ve taken some very good photos during this time. But once I put down the camera, the ache is still there.