When I was 19, I discovered the greatest movie of all time for creatives.
The life story of the artist Frida Kahlo is reenacted incredibly by Salma Hayek in the movie, “Frida”. Everything about the movie is perfect. The soundtrack, the colors, the acting, the scenery, and THE STORY.
Frida Kahlo was bedridden for months. She could not move her legs or even her torso. She was in a full body cast. All she could move were her arms.
Her dad hung a large mirror over her bed so she could see herself. He also built her a special easel that she could paint on while lying down. She used the only function she had control over, her arms, and began painting. She passed the time in her art. Who knows how many hours of practice that led to?
When she could finally get out of bed, she had to learn how to walk again. Even when she could walk, she kept painting.
She got the attention of the artist she most admired, Diego Rivera. He became her mentor. And later, her lover, husband, ex-husband, best friend and enemy.
Her paintings are the most vulnerable expressions of pain in her life. When you look at a Kahlo painting, your initial thought isn’t “Wow, that’s beautiful.”, it’s “Holy shit, is that what I think it is?”
The movie captured a mood and story that I haven’t shook since the day I first watched it.
All I wanted to do was paint. What a power it must be to translate an emotion or experience into an artistic interpretation with colors. Isn’t that what all art is? Just through different mediums: instruments, words, movements.
But I told myself I couldn’t be a painter. I wasn’t born a painter. Any time I’ve ever picked up a paintbrush I end up with something like this.
This month I had an awakening. Every skill and talent is learnable. Not even Frida was born an artist. She practiced every day for months because her sanity depended on it. Then she painted because she needed to support her family. Later she painted to release the pain of the experiences she had lived through.
This month I am taking a drawing course on Udemy.
The instructor had us draw an eye for the very first lesson. Then at the very end of the course, we will draw another eye to see how we’ve improved. This is my first drawing:
It’s a small stroke towards a greater mural. I don’t know if I’ll be a Kahlo, Dalí, or Klimt. I just know all their art makes me connect to something indescribable about our human experience. Every day I keep creating, I get closer and closer to producing that wonder for someone else.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but told yourself you couldn’t?