– More than one thing –

I have always been multifaceted in my career, my creativity, my personality; I crave contrast and detail in all I do, and I live for assembling, creating and experimenting with things.

I gravitate naturally to certain things — it’s visceral to my being. It’s impossible to define myself in only one style or category of art; multidisciplinary is my essence.

I always loved using my hands, drawing, painting, writing, creating. And for me, it’s natural to interconnect certain subjects or areas of interest.

Having a degree in clinical psychology and being specialized in Professional Orientation, I grew and learned to understand. I can’t stress enough the importance and the impact of what you choose as work (or as your career) has in your all life.

You might ask: a degree in psychology? Why not art? Aren’t you a multidisciplinary artist? Yes I am. But back in the day, my father didn’t want me to pursue art because he believed that you couldn’t make a living out of it; and I was very scared of my father. So I respected his blunt demands. I had to choose what I wanted to study (that wasn’t fashion or art that I loved so much), and I choose psychology.

Psychology was something I was always fascinated and interested in, combined with the fact that I think a lot; I always write my thoughts, research a lot. I’m very curious and a questioner by nature. I love reflecting on my life and topics that interest me or trigger me in society. So it was very natural for me to choose psychology. My mind always seeks truth.

At university, I did my thesis in Professional Orientation. And one of the staples of a professional orientation is advising future professionals to focus on their strengths, plus what are the bad things of the profession you are choosing that you’ll endure and be able to handle. And things like the structure and division of activities, personality type (agreeable, creative, open, non-agreeable, etc.), time of activity, work-environment health, process and systems of work.

We learned that it’s very important to choose very carefully what you’ll do for the rest of your life because it’s your life that you are dealing with; and your relationship with your work. It’s your relationship with everything, and so our mission was to guide the future professionals very well.

I took the lessons learned in my studies and advised myself, and obviously did a professional orientation test at our psychology lab. So, with that being said, I decided to take the Nontraditional career path – taking the road less traveled (which my Father never understood and still does not understand or approve, but he came to accept).

For me, it’s very important to create a unifying voice for my pursuits and I have the ability to juxtapose contrasting styles. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator’s creativity within us and our lives.

The multidisciplinary path is not easy; you struggle with uncertainty, judgment, fear of doing wrong, the vulnerabilities because you wear “many hats.” And maybe it’s the “curse” of having a multifaceted mind? Who knows?

Getting back to the point I was referring to previously, I decided to focus and create a career in art and merge it or intersect everything with my writing: my passion for wellbeing, beauty, my degree, and knowledge/practice in psychology.

I didn’t want to abdicate my love for art, and I didn’t want to be in a hospital or clinical office to use my psychology, so I decided instead to put it into writing.

It’s normal to like more than one thing and it’s more than possible to merge it; structure it in a cohesive way. I learn more, navigating this world by being multidisciplinary; and I believe it’s more interesting doing art interconnecting subjects of interest that you are strong on and love. It creates richness and a sense of exploration.

I had to accept the fact that I have these tastes, this drive, and that I feel complete this way. But also it’s pretty clear that creativity is the cornerstone of any artistic profession. Artists need to develop a range of complementary skills to their chosen craft so they create more depth to their work.

Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.”
— Shakti Gawain

So it’s very important to own our multiple interests. Embrace it, put in the work so we can apply in multiple industries. It’s good to understand that the art or creative field is concerned with communicating ideas through visual and textual mediums.

Do not be afraid to network and have a mentor if you feel frazzled in your pursuits of merging areas of interest. Stop fearing that your family and friends will think you’re crazy. They’ll think – or can think that. But it’s your life and you get to choose what’s best for you. Remember, you live 100% of the time with yourself so it’s your responsibility to determine who you are. Your decisions about you count.

Why categorize yourself only one way? Who says that? Self-expression can mean giving yourself a license to be more than one thing.

It’s crucial to not live with the fear of backlash or exclusion, because you did not settle for the work standards or expectations of the world.

It takes time and work to make it beautiful and passionate — whatever you do. So take your time and do it so well, so exquisitely, with all of your heart; surrender to you, be magnificent.

Relate to your work in a more holy way, give everything that you can at the moment, bring your heart, don’t slave it away. This is your art, this is your profession, this is how you are showing up for you.

Don’t let your experience with your art or work be resentment… it’s like a spiritual principle, Create your own caliber.

Remember oppositions or contradictions are harmonies at the end, we grow and learn through many experiences and works.

Most of the time, we are shamed or society makes us feel ashamed for doing many things or mixing subjects or simply being more experimental. Because they make us believe, or we believe, that we are sending a confusing, messy image of our work. It’s important to understand that some creatives just love having their hands in many different pots, it’s so exciting and they should use and grow from this energy.

As Robert Louis amazingly said:

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.”

People like Aimee Songs, Athena Calderone, Beacon, Georgia O’Keeffe and Hannah Bronfman, Pablo Picasso… these are good examples to admire successful multidisciplinary creatives and artists.

Being multidisciplinary allows us to be educated in so many realms. It’s important to self-explore without judgment and be aware of the feelings of not being enough. Work on them, because carrying these beliefs are counterproductive to our growth.

Focus on your own path and always keep in mind: our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source and as we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity. Stop telling yourself it’s too late

But among the greatest enemies of the arts are the enemies that lie within, in the arts communities seemingly liberal demand that all discourse be reasonable, disciplined, purposeful, useful”
—Jed Perl

Create Focus

In any type of endeavor, it’s crucial to have focus, this gives clarity to how we want our work to be, what can we use, what can we combine and how can we give birth to the work. So in this case, focus on the things you know how to do best to enhance success.

Begin to question yourself:

  • Are your dreams based on real potential?
  • What habits can you create to arrive at your dreams?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What should you improve?
  • What do you need to invest in?

Examples of things that you can be good at are communicating, leading, networking. Or in my case, I’m good at writing (I focus on thematics like self-development, self-worth, how habits and self-worth influence your creative endeavors/art, lifestyle design and wellbeing); painting/drawing, fashion (yes, I have a fashion design background and I participated at fashion weeks with my brand in my country) and content creation. So these areas, if we see closely that they’re all related, they complement each other.

It’s important to remember art is an expansive field comprised of multiple disciplines. This means that future artists can paint, draw, sketch, design and fashion any number of distinct employment paths.

So that is why it’s very important to focus on your strong points. It’s the famous law of minimum effort and great impact.

Very important to remember: you can be excellent in four or five things. And if you’re not good at certain other things, create a team that can help you.

Focus. Use systems to create and align your habits. Because if your habits don’t align with your dream, you might need to change your habits or change your dream. Daily doing these things will help you strengthen your artistic multidisciplinary voice.

As artists, we are a combination of all of our experiences. The more things you experience, the stronger your voice will become as an artist.

Artists are storytellers that use different mediums like paint, video, writing, etc. to create a piece of art that tells a narrative.

So, get understanding through your own experience, experiment on how these new and different ideas react. This will give you a clear picture of what you want to communicate or what identity you want to give to your art.

Even if the disciplines you’re interested don’t relate, try it. If you’re good at it, you can merge it and do something phenomenal and very well structured. And if you’re not good at it, or the result does not excite you, you can change, nothing is lost. It’s important to be willing to experiment with our creative energy.

To finish, I live you with the quote of Henry David Thoreau:

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.”

by artandotherstories

Emília Duarte is a Mozambican multidisciplinary artist , she interconnects writing, illustrations and painting. Her art is the ultimate expression of what most presses her mind. She is largely inspired by the beauty of things in her surroundings - details in the built environment-her travels and the relationship individuals have with their objects move her deeply.
The artist has a spontaneous relationship with art, emotional and visual sincerity are crucial; as Picasso said, "I put in my pictures everything I like" and that is exactly what she does.
Writing plays a crucial role in Emilia Duarte's life, it is impossible to think about painting or drawing without writing her emotions or reflections.
Emilia Duarte holds a degree in organizational psychology, a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology, a degree in journalism and has a background in fashion design.


More From Art

Dear Delacey

by Jess Peer

Do Something Good Just For You

by Harness Editor

Harness Issue VI: Revival

by Harness Editor

A Creative Type

by Samantha Sheffield