Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Tariq Ibrahim

Creative Growing Pains

Thesis Statement

“Creative Growing Pains” is a multimedia exploration of Creativity and the Growing Pains of Creative Freedom. It is an idea that was born from my own personal frustrations as a student, an artist, a freelance creative, and as someone who wants to forge their own path in the worlds of film and storytelling.  Through a series of digital triptychs comprised of photographs, video clips, and audio interviews, I explore the idea of lost and regained passion, as well as the stories of those who have lost and/or regained their creative passion.

In the first panels of these triptychs, we explore the idea of how as children, we have a carefree nature that allows us to explore our imaginations and creativity as we see fit. These panels are presented as digital collages depicting an artist whom I’ve interviewed surrounded by images of happy, active children, and childlike artwork similar to what you would find in an elementary school classroom.

The Center Panel Introduces the idea of the losing of, or lost passion. When pursuing our creativity into adulthood, we may find it harder to create as freely as we had when we were children. As we grow and mature into adulthood, take on more responsibilities and begin to forge our own paths, we may find that our relationships with our passions may change or become lost to us. These panels are presented as videos containing snippets of each artist answering various questions and speaking on the hard truths and lessons they have learned over the course of their creative journeys.

The Final Panel represents the culmination of each artists’ lessons and hard truths with a headshot of each artist. I wanted this panel to represent the idea of balance and to show that despite each artist’s personal and creative struggles, they still continue to remain true to themselves as well as their passions.

  • “Creative Growing Pains” is an idea that was born from my own personal frustrations as a student, an artist, a freelance creative, and as someone who wants to forge their own path in the worlds of film and storytelling. This project was created because, for the past few years, I’ve found myself in a position where I felt like my creativity was no longer my own. I felt like I was spending the majority of my time and creative energy creating for the sake of others rather than myself, and I was beginning to feel like my own wants/ideas were beginning to fall to the wayside. With all of that in mind, I decided to take these frustrations and seek out the perspectives of other creatives to learn about their frustrations as well as to hear about their relationships with their creativity. I simply wanted to know if some of the feelings I was experiencing were a normal part of being a working creative, and what other artists did to overcome those feelings. I want to give a big thank you to Quinton Collins for acting as my second shooter on this project. It wouldn’t have looked or sounded as good as it does without you there to help me during the production phase. I want to give a very very VERY big thank you to Rik Freeman, Jay Coleman, Brittany Pate, Antonio Singletary and Scott Fitzgerald for all taking the time and risk to meet with me in person, in your creative spaces, during a global pandemic to discuss your creative growing pains. Your stories, kindness, and words of encouragement all gave my project the voice it needed. It is my hope that when other creatives see this project, they are inspired to hold on to, and manifest their creative aspirations, as well as to remain true to themselves and their creativity.

Rik Freeman Creative Growing Pains by Tariq Ibrahim from DFPA | Bowie State University on Vimeo.