Video Rewind :: The Masks That We Wear


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I made this video almost five years ago.

It’s kind of crazy for me to watch.  I look different.  The studio I’m working in looks different.   The way I paint and art journal is different.

I was different.

But still I was so the same.

Video is an incredible medium to work with.  It captures us, as well as it allows us to manipulate and transform what others can see of us.

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For years I followed a blogger online who has made a thriving career for herself as a “spiritual teacher”.  Any video you see of her she always comes across as calm and zen like.

One night, when I couldn’t sleep, I was surfing through YouTube videos and randomly found a video of this woman casually sitting around with her friends chatting.  At one point she is sharing something really funny and she begins to laugh this boisterous, loud laugh and no longer does she reflect that reserve, tapped in persona.

I loved it.

I think I watched it about four or five times just to catch that point where she lets her guard down and takes off the mask.

Not because I wanted to catch her in the act, so-to-say, but so that I could truly see her.

The real her.  Even if it lasted for just a second.

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I’ve met many women at my in-person retreats who tell me that they’ve watched all my videos.  They’ll even sometimes reference stuff I’ve said or done that I can’t even remember.

I’m getting used to it, but it can still feel a little uneasy for me.

Not because they’ve watched my videos–but because who they see is me but not me.

This is true for any art genre, I guess.

No matter how much you craft or form your art to speak a certain way, others are going to project and bring their own story to what they see anyways.

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Here’s a perfect example.

A couple years ago a woman posted one of my videos on her blog and underneath it she wrote how awful she thought it was and then proceeded to even make fun of how I talk.

The only thing is that she thought I was someone else.  Another artist.  A friend of mine, actually.

And my friend had seen this blog post and wasn’t really sure of what to think about this woman bashing her (when she really meant to bash me).

Under other circumstances I would have completely ignored her blog post altogether, but because of this unique situation I decided to leave a comment on her blog that was short stating that the person she was referring to was actually me, Connie Hozvicka, and not my friend.

Almost immediately she deleted the post.

A few days later she emailed me apologizing and expressing how horrible and embarrassed she felt that I had seen what she had written.

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Video is an incredible medium to work with.  It captures us, as well as it allows us to manipulate and transform what others can see of us.

But it can never protect us from what others perceive of us.

Thus why being an Artist requires a sincere form of humility laced under the masks that we wear and a strong dose of courage for those times when the mask can feel quite flimsy.

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