arte & negócio

Identity should be a verb

marcela monteiro
July 28, 2020
empreendedorismo feminino

[ leia texto em português, aqui :) ]

Some words can be a little bit tricky. Identity, for example, is a noun and, therefore, it sounds like something that can be described, understood, and contained. But identity is not an object and is miles away from being something steady. Identity is a process, something that flows and reveals itself with time, so it seems it would be a lot less complicated if identity was a verb, preferably, forever conjugated in the present continuous tense.

As a creative person, I always found it very hard to define myself. From filing forms in the doctor's office to the way I describe myself in social media, I never thought it was easy to find the words to talk about what I do. In the last couple of months, the more I explore and experiment with the idea of assuming myself as an artist, the more I understand that the anxiety of this challenge is not going away. Actually, it is bringing up more and more questions: what is original about the things I do? How can I approach and present myself to other people? What value am I offering to the already so saturated world? 

After some time dealing with this subject, I'm now beginning to understand that the anguish I feel around these questions doesn't rely on not knowing how to answer them, but on thinking I have to find the right answers before doing anything else. For too much time, I thought about identity as a starting point, or as a premise I had to sort out before going to the field. But if identity is a line that crosses everything you do, how to see this line without even acting?  

I'm an excessively mental person: give me a question and an opportunity to act and I will always take the question. But step by step I'm trying to change this behavior, because every time I create, act, and do stuff I see my identity revealing itself without me having to worry about that. And here lies a hard-to-swallow piece of truth: I will not be the artist that I want to be, I will be the artist that I can and need to be. My identity is not something I can control, so the sooner I allow it to flow, the better. 

With this in mind, I want to end the article quoting a Brazilian poet called Hilda Hilst. When asked why her texts were so difficult to understand, Hilda said she could not control those things and concluded: "I believe life overflows, there's no tidy cup that can contain life! Suddenly it all gets spilled, it falls on you, you get dirty, and there's no way of making it fit in a nice and pleasant scheme". Identity should be a verb. And maybe then we would be more comfortable about getting some dirt in our hands.

This article is part of "profession: artist", a content series about assuming sensibility, art, and creativity as your work.


written by Marcela Monteiro


Marcela Monteiro is a writer who creates narratives in multiple formats and platforms. Her production stands out for a very sensitive point of view that frequently gravitates around everyday sensations and feelings with which everyone can identify. Graduated in Law and Mastered in Communication Sciences, with emphasis on Internet and New Media, Marcela has already worked for advertising, content and public relations agencies, producing articles, scripts, and integrated campaigns for several clients. In addition to that, her work has already been published by Glamour Magazine, Casa VOGUE, and the Portuguese newspaper Público.

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