To some an idol has been identified since day one: "I've watched Oprah every weekday since I was four!" To some inspiration varies depending on the situation: "I want to be Kendall Jenner when I grow up. Did you know her dad was in the Olympics? I would give anything to run as fast as he can." To some (like myself) identifying with others as a living and breathing example has always seemed to reign impossible. Until recently.
I first encountered Lana Del Rey about a year ago. I fell in love with her first single -- a love ballad -- titled "Video Games" released on her sophomore album Born to Die. I possessed an acute knowledge for Lana, her persona or any of her other music, and for some reason was too naive to seek education. It wasn't until this past month when talk of the brilliance exhibited by her most-recent album Paradise had made its way to every social media forum within my possession. Intrigued, I purchased it.
I really felt a connection to the records of this album -- both lyrically and melodically. In this album, Lana writes of pain, of curiosity, of longing, of love, of freedom, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I found it impossible to quarantine my mind from the infectious melodies of "American" and "Blue Velvet" -- songs that document the ordinary intricacies of life that only a brilliant poet could portray so realistically.
Just yesterday I decided to look Lana's name up on YouTube, simply to confirm whether or not she had produced music videos for her singles. I clicked to view the video for a song titled "Ride" on her album Paradise. I expected to watch the usual monotonous, meaningless mess of a music video that most artists these days find compelling to produce. Instead I came across a short film that contained symbolism, purpose, creativity, and overall poetry in the rawest form. I encourage those who appreciate art to watch the link below, as I found it to be utterly compelling.
I think that this music video alone spiked my interest in Lana as both an artist and a person. I began to search for interviews, performances, any and all footage of her that I could get my hands on. The more I encountered her through my computer screen the more I realized she was becoming an inspiration.
I've decided to build on Lana's philosophy. I will strive to make my life into a work of art. I don't have to leave behind a reservoir of melodies and poems -- but a legacy that is unique to me and the life I am living. And whenever someone asks me who inspires me, I'll know what to say.
Photographs courtesy of Tumblr.