Submitted by Gabriela Gratereaux
Miami, Florida: well known for its sandy beaches, tourist vibe, and tropical environment. With lots to do and see, it’s pretty hard to miss the strong community vibe that you’ll find everywhere in this enormous city. More and more each day this diverse city is constantly inspiring individualism in adolescents and young adults. Since the late 70's, the 305 (Miami’s area code) community of art lovers has been hosting successful underground shows displaying different types of art forms. But lately, more and more youngsters seem to be taking on the role of establishing complicated underground events for their peers to display their work, perform, and have a good time with other fellow artists. Most underground artists are usually part of individualistic or collective endeavors that represent a particular movement or have an underlying theme to benefit the common good like politics, freedom of expression, etc. Some of Miami's youngest and ambitious creators answered a few questions on what it means to be a young artist in Miami.
+ Do you think of yourself as more of a local artist or an underground artist, sticking to a certain philosophy and a movement?
+ How long have you been doing music/art? And how does Miami affect you and what you create?
Are they any certain struggles you feel come with being a local artist?
+ What does it mean to you to be a local artist in a thriving community like Miami?
Do you see local art taking over the city in the future? And if you do, how do you feel about that?
Our artist interviews collectively agreed that Miami has had a huge influence on how they grew as people/artists and how they get inspired. With all of these youngsters fresh out of high school, in the midst of college, or still in high school, the future is bright with their drive and many opportunities thanks to the art scene in this iconic city. From touring the states in bands, to going national in magazines and art galleries, the 305 will always make their hometown proud.
Gabriela Gratereaux, 17, is a female multi-media artist hailing from Miami Beach, Florida. Most of her work is inspired by her city’s atmosphere and environment. She has been published in Lithium Magazine, Creeper Magg, Pinstriped Magazine and others for her work capturing the feeling of what it means to be young and experimenting with color theory in her films and photography. You can contact her through email and check out some of her other work on her Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.
This is just a lil photo diary taken over the past year or so. I wasn't necessarily in the best headspace and looking back I think the flat loneliness of the pictures kind of reflected my state of being at the time.
Dear My Past Self,
Hey there. There are many things I wish to tell you, but with the way our mind works, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write it in the way I want to. So bear with me. Right now I know your social life seems like it means everything, but trust me when I say this, it’s not. It’s cliché, but friends will come and definitely go. And I want to remind you that it’s okay if people leave. Sometimes it’s better that way, and you’re able to evolve and grow as a person because of it. I really wish I took the advice of being by myself rather than be with a group of people that make me feel inferior. I would’ve been better off in the long run.
Comparing yourself to other girls is destroying the beautiful image you have created of yourself. It’s a subconscious habit that you’ve developed over time, but I know you will be able to break the cycle one day. As of right now (as an eighteen-year-old), it’s still an ingrained system in my mind; I put myself down with a joke or comment before I even realize it. It’s a one-step at a time process that feels more like a one-step forward and two-steps back process, but I know someday we’ll get there. It’s still uncomfortable to hear compliments, and it’s easy to put yourself down. However, one step at a time.
I feel like I’m writing down a bunch of clichés, but I feel like I need to write it all out. I’ve been feeling all sorts of different emotions lately, and I really need to let it all out. I can’t write it in my journal for some reason.
There is a fine line between laziness and lack of motivation from depression. I am not sure where I cross the line because I have not been diagnosed with depression (I still need to see a therapist). I feel like I’m stuck in between the two stigmatized ideas. There’s a lot of grey area in the place that I’m in. I want time to speed up, so I can go home and start working on things I care a lot more about, but I know I should be taking everything in as I go because I don’t know how much time I have to live (which makes me sound like I have a terminal disease – I don’t). My brain is overworking itself with ever changing thoughts that don’t ever seem to shut up. It’s fixated on whether or not this current feeling is okay. If this feeling is “normal” or “not normal.” And then suddenly it stops. It seems like I have no thoughts at all because I feel dazed, like everything is moving in slow motion. I know everything else is going normal speed, but I feel like I’m going in slow motion. I’m not taking life in. I’m wasting my life on technological façades and stretchy pants. My mind is numb, but it works like a maniac. How can a paradox like this exist? How does a paradox like this live?
My mind is a pipe bomb, counting down the seconds until the sporadic moment I combust. I’m afraid of all those that’ll be left in the wreckage. I’m afraid.
It’s funny how I experience similar symptoms to depression and anxiety, and yet I still have the audacity to tell myself that I can survive college for another semester. I’m convincing myself that my feelings are invalid and that I can suck it up, finish, and move onward. But I can’t. I’ve held these emotions for too long, and now it’s become a huge monster facing towards me.
I want to smash this computer up. I want to get a sledgehammer and break it up to pieces because I am so angry at myself. How can I be so selfish to have these feelings when there are people dying in third world countries due to starvation and poverty? How can I be so lucky and unlucky? I am grateful for all that I have, but sometimes I just… I don’t want to be here. Sometimes I want to put my hands around my neck and squeeze as tightly as I can until I pass out. Other times I just want to disappear without a word.
I can distract myself from my thoughts by movies and music. But it’s a temporary fix that made me into an addict for distraction. I join fandoms. I find new music. I write my feelings. But nothing works.
It’s official. I’m going insane. I need to leave, but I can’t even make it out of bed.
-Anonymous, Female, 18