Now is the time to express yourself

By Rachel Wang

Wimbledon High School alumna and founder of Chocolate Films, Rachel Wang had a few words for GDST girls this week.

This is a surreal and difficult time for everyone.

I am sure you miss your friends and all the things you usually do. But you have the opportunity to do something you would usually have time for. While your life is on pause, you can create, and you can be yourself.

It is amazing how many artists and writers have discovered their creativity when they’ve been forced to change their routine.

It was on a delayed train from Manchester to London that JK Rowling came up with the idea for Harry Potter. If that train had run on time, I wonder whether the ideas would ever have come to her in the same way.

Many writers and artists have had long periods of isolation in their careers, due to illness, wars or even plagues, when they were forced to stop.

Frida Kahlo was bedridden for a lot of her life and this is when she managed to paint masterpieces. It was in Nazi occupation that Simone de Beauvoir wrote her first and only play. Even the great inventor, Sir Isaac Newton, was in isolation having fled the Great Plague of London when he discovered gravity.

I wonder if their creativity would have had a chance to grow if their lives had continued uninterrupted.

Right now, everybody’s life is interrupted. Try and see this as an opportunity to draw, write, animate, sculpt, compose and invent something new. Make things for yourself. Allow yourself to try new things, make new discoveries and be kind to yourself when things go wrong. As we are all at home, no one is telling us what is fashionable, what to wear, or how to act or be. This is a time when you can be yourself and discover your own way to express yourself creatively. And whatever you come up with, be proud of it!

Chocolate Films was founded in 2001. Today, the company has bases in London, Glasgow and Berlin and a client base that includes Netflix, Facebook, Big Issue and The Royal Society. Already this year, Chocolate Films have had a special screening at Tate, and have taken over the screen in Piccadilly Circus.

Rachel is passionate about reaching out to diverse community groups. She is the director of 1000 Londoners, a huge project documenting all aspects of contemporary life in London. Her documentaries about brave women in the city, led to an all-female film-making project to empower girls to make their own documentaries. Each year Chocolate Films provides film-making workshops to 3000 people from deprived backgrounds.