THEBATHTUBPROJECT

exploring vulnerability and transparency one bath at a time

Tag: Creativity

A Klass

 

Date of Interview: August 8th, 2017

Name: A Klass

Age: 28

Pronouns: They/Them

Location: Chicago, IL

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I try to shower at least every day, but that doesn’t always happen thanks to– I feel like my mental health effects that a lot so sometimes it’s longer, sometimes it’s shorter. It just depends on how it’s going, but my goal is to every day.

If you were a underwater creature, mythical, real, whatever, what would you be?

Probably an angler fish, because I really like how they look. And I love that they have– I don’t know. I just love that their molecules can emit light, that’s wild to me. I also love the fact that their teeth are so big that they can’t close their mouth and that’s also wild to me. So yeah, I like them.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about art. I’m passionate about creativity. I’m passionate about people. I’m passionate about people knowing that they’re seen and loved because I feel like that’s a really important thing and something that not everyone feels, something not everyone has felt a lot, including myself. So something that I try to do in my work and in my creativity is have representation for people. Being represented lets people know that they are seen. That’s important to me. And something I still need to work much harder on.

How does that manifest for you?

I think it manifests itself in my work. In my photography, I try– I feel like I photograph almost exclusively people who identify in the LGBTQ+ family now. I mean, growing up, I had no idea that being nonbinary was a thing and I was so lost and so– I don’t know. There was no representation for it and so I had no idea what I was. So I feel like it’s important to represent all these people that I feel like growing up I saw little or no representation for. And I want to change that for future generations.

What is something you feel accomplished with?

I think I feel accomplished with my ability to care for others and to love. I have a lot of platonic intimacy with people and I feel like that’s really important. And I feel like that’s something that is difficult for a lot of people. It’s something that not a lot of people do or a lot of people I’ve noticed don’t understand. And so, I think I feel accomplished in that because I feel very comfortable in that. And I feel confident in my ability to do that and with those who are comfortable with receiving it, sharing it with them.

What are your thought on relationships, platonic, sexual, and otherwise?

Relationships are very interesting. I love the complexity of them. I mean, my relationships in all those categories are the things that have kept me alive I feel. So I have a lot of deep admiration for those relationships even though a lot of them are difficult and have caused me a lot of heartache and pain in the past and present and future. But I don’t know. There’s a lot of beauty in that. Because I understand very well the temperance of things and I don’t really have an issue with things being temporary. It makes sense to me for things to be temporary. And I think its beautiful because I feel like it makes me appreciate those moments that I do have. And it’s kind of funny because, actually, today one of the people that I’m sweet on told me that they decided today to be monogamous with their primary and so we had to stop our, I guess, romantic side. And so it’s interesting because after that happened and after I’d sort of processed and accepted that, I then thought about this interview coming up, and I was like, “That’s a perfect day for that to happen.” But yeah, I don’t have any– I don’t know. I guess I’m just not mad or sad about things being temporary. Relationships are very interesting and complex things. And I do love the fact that they can exist in so many different forms and a mix of all three of those. Each one separately. I don’t know. That’s very interesting. I have a lot of feelings about relationships.

What do you think about your relationship with yourself?

Oh [laughter]. Yeah. We have a long history. I mean, it’s definitely my most difficult relationship. I can say that. Yeah. That’s one where every day it’s different. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s difficult. I see a lot of good things about myself, but it’s difficult for me to fully accept those. It’s hard for me to, I think, appreciate myself in a lot of ways. A lot of times, I wish I didn’t have to spend so much time with myself. A lot of times, I– I don’t know. A lot of times, I wish I could separate and not necessarily be someone else, but just somehow be alone with someone else in that way.

What is something you still struggle with?

Unfurl scroll [laughter]. I still struggle with anxiety. I still struggle with depression. And I still struggle with wanting to live. I struggle with loving myself, as seeing myself as worthy of love, of seeing myself as worthy of generally anything good. Yeah. Well, it’s interesting because I don’t know if I would necessarily describe it as coping mechanisms. But one thing that has helped me immensely that I have both realized recently and discussed recently is my relationships. And these people, they allow me to see myself as they see me and that’s really hard for me to do. And yeah, I mean, like I said, those relationships are the things that have saved my life countless times. Yeah. So I feel like that’s definitely what’s helped me the most. And even though I still struggle with it every day, the people in my life help me to survive that.

Andrew and Liz

Andrew and Liz

 

Date of Interview: November 11, 2016

Names: Andrew and Liz

Ages: 29 and 31

Pronouns: He/Him and She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

Liz: Every day.
Andrew: Whenever necessary. As infrequently as possible.
L: Sometimes I have to ask you to do it.
A: It never occurs to me. To shower. So I usually have to be told. So I’m not thrown out by society ::laughs::.

How does it feel to be in a bath?

Andrew: This is nice.

If you were an underwater creature, which one would you be?

Andrew: Crab. Because I’m crabby.
Liz: You are very crabby. I think I would be a sand dollar. They used to be all over the place where I grew up in Maine and now they’re being pushed out by climate change. You never see them. Now, when I see them it’s this treat.
A: When people see you it’s a treat, because you’re rare? Is that the idea?
L: Sure, that’s right.

What are you passionate about?

Andrew: I’m passionate about music, about art and politics. I am passionate about playing music, writing music, performing music, listening to music. I’m passionate about other people’s art, art that is interesting, art that speaks to truth. Art that revels to me a truth that I had previously not known.
Liz: Being a part of a community that is improving the world. And I do that in a few different ways. I feel very passionate about the DC arts community. I also care immensely about social justice issues. We have so many opportunities to improve other people’s lives. I see it as my obligation to open people’s eyes however I can, through writing and photo and video, by putting stories out into the world to help people understand how simple it is to help other people.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Andrew: Letting fear dictate policy. Letting ignorance dictate policy. Lack of empathy.
Liz: Yeah, lack of empathy is a big one. There’s so many people who lack empathy and we’re so fundamentally disconnected right now. I’m really scared of how I feel disconnected from this huge portion of my country. With the work that I do I meet people who are really struggling. I’m terrified about that lack of empathy continuing to grow and grow and grow.

Do you feel, as creative types, that the two of you have created a world that you can thrive in?

Liz: Absolutely.
Andrew: That’s the goal at least. And it’s good. About 90% of the time.
L: I think that’s one of the reasons why we found each other and connected as a couple. We both have a world view where we want to contribute…
A: …in a positive way.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Andrew: They’re necessary. They’re absurd. They’re messy. They’re chaotic but they’re 100% necessary. We need each other.
Liz: They make you grow. They bring you joy. They bring you sadness and sometimes that’s a good thing. They push you in directions you don’t expect. You wind up in new places. I’m about to go on a ten-day trek through the wilderness literally at the end of the Earth, and it’s because of my relationship with a lady friend. She was like “hey you want to go do this” and I told her that I’ve never even considered that, so, okay, let’s do it.
A: I think one of the reasons I love music is because it allows you to form relationships with people that would be extremely difficult otherwise. You can connect with people who you’ve never met before. As a performer, connecting with an audience. As an audience member with another audience member sharing a passion over an artist. Or an audience member connecting with a performer. One of the great things about it is you can connect with people across social boundaries. Across race or across gender or whatever, that’s one of the things that excites me so much about it. Is the ability to connect other people and form relationships.

What is something that you struggle with?

Andrew: Excessive self-analysis ::laughs::. That’s something I struggle a lot with.
Liz: Being comfortable with the unknown. I’ve had a lot of movement in my life. I moved every year or two until I was in high school. As an adult I’ve continued that lifestyle. I think sometimes I get a little freaked out when I don’t have a plan. Or my plans get changed.

What is something that brought you joy today?

Andrew: Going to an art museum and seeing art that was interesting and from a perspective that I don’t often see. That brought me joy.
Liz: We were on our way to the art museum… just flying down the street on our bicycles and the wind was in my hair … it just felt so good. We were on our way to do something we love. And in that moment, I felt really happy.

Heather Funk

Heather Funk

 

Date of Interview: November 2, 2016

Name: Heather Funk

Age: 29

Pronouns: She/Her

Location: Washington, DC

 

How often do you bathe or shower?

I dunno, maybe at least once a day, sometimes twice… At least once.

If you were a underwater creature which one would you be?

What do you classify as underwater? Could I be a sea otter? Sea otter. I find that I am cuddly and playful like sea otters and I have a lot of hair on my head so I identify with their double fur layers. I think it would be really great to have armpit pockets, you know they store tools in their armpit pockets? I would love to have something where I could carry a rock around in my armpit. ::Laughs:: It’s so weird but I’ve thought a lot about this before.

What are you passionate about?

That is, I think, something that I’ve been exploring a lot these days because it’s changing… It used to be art. And then it was art and logistics because I have an art and logistics background. I can’t remember a time when creativity wasn’t there. I think since I was a kid, I’ve always loved art and always loved being creative, it was very much encouraged in me so that’s just kid of developed. I think some of it has to do with my zodiac sign, I’m an Aquarius so I’m creative! And stubborn and independent! I think… Creativity, you know, I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there, when I wasn’t imagining things or like, coming up with new ideas for something. It used to be art related but now it’s kind of changed to being business related, but it’s always been there. But recently I’ve been thinking about how, this is my own personal development I guess… Like, travel has always been something I’ve been really passionate about but, in terms of a career, people talk a lot about passions with a career, and that’s where I’m kind of lost right now and have been thinking about where my passions are going to lead me.

What is your favorite medium?

To work with or to view? Work with, it has to be metal working, something with my hands, like more intense industrial jewelry design, which I haven’t done in a long time. But I think to view… To collect and to purchase it has to be photography. To view in a gallery or in a museum setting, I got to think about that one. It’s kind of like asking what’s your favorite color. You like them all for different reasons, right? I can’t answer that I like them all. Actually that’s a lie, I like installations. Installations have to be my favorite because there’s so much involvement and the viewer is within the piece, right. It’s all about the viewer’s experience.

What are you afraid of for the world?

Oh man… For the world. Maybe the zombie apocalypse. But in all reality, running out of our resources. And how we collectively can come together as a world, as an international community, because I feel that we all have our own thoughts separately, but we need to come together for humanity. With the way things are going now I don’t think it’s possible but you know, communities have been developing over centuries, forever, and so I think the idea of community is growing in terms of numbers now and I don’t think we’re at that point yet but I hope we get there soon. I think it’s possible, just not for a while.

What is something you still struggle with?

Vulnerability. Which is why I’m doing this. Seriously ::laughs::. I read about you guys in a thing by We The People, somebody posted about The Bathtub Project and I was like, “Cool! I like this idea!” And so the idea of being vulnerable, there’s a stigma of weakness involved. But in a lot of ways you’re a lot stronger for being vulnerable and being openly vulnerable. I’ve been coming to terms with that in the last year or two and that’s why… Vulnerability! That’s why I’m doing this.

What do you think of relationships? Platonic, sexual and otherwise.

Let’s see… Relationships. I think they’re very important and integral to human development and to human happiness. I think if you’re alone, even if you’re isolated, everyone needs some relationship in some compactly. I very much value my platonic relationships, my friendships. That’s something that this last year, I spent a lot of time this last year or two of musing on my relationships with men in a romantic setting, but your friends… They don’t owe you anything. You’re not having sex, most times, with your friends right? So a friendship is the purest form of a relationship in some ways and if you can accept each other for exactly who you are and love each other for who you are in a friendship, that is the highest, purest form of relationship that I think there is out there. At the same time, this other level though, being in a romantic relationship you have the benefit of this other person sticking by your side who wants to be with you and you have that sexual component which is always fun. So… Those are my thoughts on relationships.

%d bloggers like this: