Sometimes I must remind myself that "art" isn't always this lofty concept. Often times it's the smaller creative endeavors that helps us process, release, celebrate, and express ourselves. As an actor and a poet, I get the chance to explore the grander schemes and heightened moments of human experience. I personally find this exhilarating and cathartic, but they are not the only art forms I know. There are other artistic opportunities that offer to sustain us daily.
Fashion is one of my foremost perpetual creative outlets. Fashion gives me a little inventive challenge everyday (and sometimes multiple times a day). My clothing can be my weapon/my armor/my sigil. It is my belief that personal style deeply affects one's interaction with the world around them. The physical presentation of one's self is equal parts, weapon, identity, and sigil. I am excited to dress myself everyday. I am thrilled when I am allowed to dress others. When I consider a look for myself or others, I ponder how to take the quintessential and unique and bring it out to be seen and admired.
I enjoy the power that comes with expression. My swagger expresses my moods, my attitudes, and often times I use my clothing to give myself what I need for the day. High ankle boots, a field vest, and a tunic might feel like armor if I need a little more resolve for a tough day. If I had to dress a bit more conservatively, I might use suspenders and a bowler hat to add a little flare to a sweater and a clean cut trouser combo, just to make sure I have not lost my point of view.
As a man, I must say that discovering my own fashion sense has been tricky. As children, I think boys are not taught to care about how they look beyond cleanliness. Young men aspire to blend into peer groups and later into the fashion of profession. I always loved being told I looked nice or I looked good. And so my style began to reflect those generic adjectives. My looks had clean lines and classic fits. I pushed no boundaries, played with no extremes, and silhouette never even crossed my mind. My closet reflected the sterilized shelves of mass market menswear.
Until one day I decided I deserved what the women had. I wanted to look like the creative, extroverted, charismatic, confident man that dwelled inside. So, I began to hunt down those pieces that glean attention. I would scavenge for something tailored that would show off my form. I didn't care if the garment was labeled women's. If it fit me and added something novel to my collection of clothing, then it would be mine. I became passionate about cultivating my aesthetic. And you know what? I became that man I wanted to show the world I had inside. My creativity blossomed, my confidence soared, and others took note of it.
Now, I am constantly striving for new and innovative ways to present myself. I crave new and original silhouettes. I try to challenge myself to go beyond the restrictions of "menswear" and instead focus on the wardrobe as a catalyst to let the inner light shine. I encourage you artMEATers out there to amplify your own inner light as well. Perhaps that creative endeavor you've been looking for is just under your nose.