As an optimist, people are surprised to find out that my taste in movies, music, and storytelling is as dark as it is.
Some of my favorite stories are the ones without happy endings. Whether the bad guy wins, the good guy fails, or nothing is resolved, something is satisfying to that kind of ending.
I find inspiration in depressing music. My favorite artist, The Smiths, is known as one of the most depressing bands of all time. And I feel motivated to create whenever I listen to The Black Parade, by My Chemical Romance; the entire album is about cancer and death, yet the roaring guitars open up my heart and mind to endless possibilities.
Either I’m a walking contradiction, or bad endings, and depressing art is used for not only myself but others as a way to cope and move on through the pain of life.
Because I’m not the only one.
I used to joke that Morrissey, the lead singer of The Smiths, made music so depressing that I realized how great my life was, and looking back there is truth in that joke.
By seeing and realizing the darkness, I could see the light that others had missed.
Tragedies written by Shakespeare are not only warnings about human nature but reminders of how life can get so much worse. His stories provide insight into how we contribute to our own suffering. Some of his characters are so real that we see ourselves in his stories.
When seeing destructive or evil characters in movies or books we can do an audible on ourselves to make sure we don’t become the evil we just learned about.
We learn more from failure then we do from success, and I believe the same things true in storytelling.
Some of the best artists have tormented pasts, and they use this as motivation in their art. What comes out are beautiful images or stories that are told from dark places that few will understand.
So embrace the darkness. Don’t be scared by your love for dark story telling, and songs. Instead use it to your advantage as you turn the world into a beautiful canvas.