Everyone’s journey is a unique inscription through time and isn’t a path that can be retraced or duplicated. How We Got Here is a series of concise recollections of personal journeys as told by talented creative individuals with different backgrounds, careers, and interests who share their struggles and motivations to explain how they reached this point in their lives.
We continue our series with Gavin Guidry, an Atlanta based photographer and videographer. For his account of how he got here, read on.
— 27, Atlanta —
As a kid I knew who I was: an excellent artist. I was always hungry to exercise my creativity, even to the point of becoming anxious and restless if I wasn’t making things. This feeling would come over me, almost like a nervous fit, until I could draw or build and get that energy out.
My dad saw my artistic potential as soon as I began expressing it. One of my earliest memories is from when I was five; I drew a picture of birds in a tree and showed it to my dad.
I said, “Dad, this is the best picture I’ve ever drawn!”
He said, “You can do better.”
So I kept doing more and doing better. In middle school, I would draw agenda book covers and bookmarks to sell to my classmates. My dad started giving me design challenges that were helpful to his business. That kicked off a period of drawing logos for his labels, designing his artists’ MySpace pages, creating art for tours—essentially fulfilling music industry briefs as a twelve-year-old.
I continued consistently making, anything really, until a stretch of time shortly after finishing college. Suddenly, there seemed to be a million ways my career could go and it was no longer clear to me what I really wanted or needed and, crucially, who I was.
I wound up in a very structured environment as a strategist where I wasn’t making anything. Something was missing. A part of my soul felt absent. In the midst of the situation, I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel like myself.
It was only when I started making again that it hit me—I’d been missing for the last year and a half because I hadn’t made anything. That’s when I learned that being a creator is ingrained in who I am. I believe that everybody on this earth is creative, and that it is by creating things we express our full humanness.
“Something was missing. A part of my soul felt absent. In the midst of the situation, I didn’t understand why I didn’t feel like myself.”
“We’re too committed to routine ways of seeing the world and each other. Creative expression has given me a way to showcase and celebrate differences in experience and perspective.”