TO START this simply, I will introduce myself. Shannon Lane, 21, previously a freelance artist – now journalist. I live in Camden.
I had been a freelance artist since I was 18, I use that term lightly, because I wasn’t selling artwork till I was in my 20s, so not long ago. I have been exhibiting for this entire time, around London, and curating exhibitions. At one point, I was the curator for gallery in Hackney Wick.
I had learnt a lot from networking, meeting other artists and curators, and I even reached a point where I was selling work regularly, however I couldn’t shake off this feeling that something was lacking from my life.
This got to the point where I fell into depression and severe anxiety, we’re talking not long ago – October 2015 – this is when I saw the light at the end of this, self absorbed, anxiety ridden tunnel.
You see, as an independent artist, I was very alone.
My branding, social media, networking, is all done by me, for me. I was looking at myself 24/ 7. I began creating work that I needed to sell, which consequently caused me to force ideas. I was analysing my ‘vibe’ too much, from my appearance, to how I came across to new people. I know this is a normal thing to go through, especially as you mature into an adult, but this loneliness and self obsession was digging a hole of which I couldn’t escape, and I was the only one creating it.
Here comes the part which you wouldn’t ever be able to guess. On the 15th December, English astronaut Tim Peake went on his mission to the international space station. Watching his launch, I remembered being at school studying physics, planning to be an aero physicist.
On that day in December, as an adult woman, I cried about how I wanted to be an astronaut.
The point here wasn’t that I wanted to be on the Soyuz rocket on the way to the ISS, but that my life was on track to be a self absorbed, thin layer, based on my artistic skill (jack of all trades, master of none). I’d forgotten that originally somewhere down the line, before I failed my physics A Level, that I wanted to ‘make a difference’ (ouch, cliche).
April 2016, four months later, I joined a company called Barcroft Media and began my career as a journalist.
I am still an artist – it’s right in the core of my being to be creative, however without that pressure comes freedom.
That freedom is this blog.