Growing up is something that's totally strange. I think now that I'm a little older (well, not too old) I'm able to watch the people around me grow up too. Oddly enough, I've watched people grow up that I've never met. I'm talking about celebrities, and someone who I've never really particularly cared for is starting to blossom in ways I would never have imagined to occur. I'm talking, of course, about Jaden Smith. Meanwhile, you're reading this asking "Nyki, WTF, isn't this a Self-Help Art Blog?" You bet your bum it is, keep reading!
What struck a chord with me in order to write this post was his new music video called "Fallen". Go ahead and check it out:
After watching this video and listening to this surprisingly alright song, I found some things about Jaden Smith that we can all learn from. Even though Jaden Smith could still be finding himself, we could be finding ourselves too, and that's okay!
1. He's Trying Different Styles
This is something any artist can admire because it's hard to break your style once you find it. Any artist can also agree that breaking that style and expanding your knowledge can only make you better. For instance, in a huge contrast to this Fallen video that has a sort of Kid Cudi mixed with Frank Ocean vibe, he also he has this video Scarface that seems really hard and has that traditional hip-hop underground feel. I respect this because it means he's not afraid to just express what he needs to in order to cope with his high-profile life.
2. He Shows His Emotions
I know a lot of people think that a guy showing his emotions makes him come across less macho but I say that's bullshit. Not talking about your emotions and expressing how you feel is a disservice to only one person, and that's you. If Jaden Smith does anything perfectly in his life, it's expressing how he feels with no filter. Don't believe me? Look at this dude's Twitter, it can get excessive but it's the most honest bunch of content on the internet. Some things are quite odd, but when it comes to his emotions he never falters.
3. He's Learning as He Goes
I think that we all forget this. We're all just kids, and nobody really has a firm grasp on how to go about life. I'll admit, I used to not be very keen on Jaden Smith, but it wasn't because I didn't like him, it was that I didn't like that he seemed so unsure of himself. I always thought that as a celebrity you must have the best life in the world, but that's simply not true. Jaden Smith, like all of us, is just a kid growing up. He's making mistakes, cleaning them up, and learning to be a better person out of it.
4. He's Inspired by Other Artists
The cool thing about art is that it's so personalized. My drawing style is 1000% different from Mab Graves or James Jean, but the cool thing is that my artwork contains elements from these other artists because I'm inspired by them. Same thing with Jaden. You can tell that he's inspired by many different artists and even gives Kid Cudi a subtle shout out in his new video as well. . This tells us that he likes these different styles, and respects them enough to replicate similar sounds in his own creations. Right on, Jaden!
5. He Brushes Off The Hate
This is something we all can learn from, and it's all about just being true to yourself. People will always have bad things to say about your work, it happens to me all the time. Jaden Smith takes a lot of hate that he gets, and brushes it off like a boss and keeps going. That is the sign of true confidence, when you're sure in yourself, you hear the negative that people give you but you have the will power to not let it affect you negatively, and have it help drive you instead.
I was only four when Jaden Smith blessed us on this earth, and my first ever memory of seeing him was in the movie with his dad Will Smith in Pursuit of Happyness. Honestly, I didn't think he did any particularly incredible job, and the feeling was the same when I saw him years after in the Suite Life of Zach and Cody. However, it's been eight years (yeah, eight) since his appearance on Disney channel and now in 2016 it seems to me that Jaden Smith is finally finding himself, and it's through creative means. My favorite thing about the media not the content they produce, or the crazy stories I get to hear about in the news, it's what we can learn by watching these people, because they're just people going through life like us.
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A Guide to Using Art as a Coping Skill, through the lens of a former psychiatric ward patient, and current painter.