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Daily Inspiration: Meet Inkar Maxutova

Today we’d like to introduce you to Inkar Maxutova.

Hi Inkar, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Three years ago around this time, I was still pursuing my dream of becoming a surgeon. Passed my MCAT exam and was about to start a new chapter in my life called “sleep-deprivation in a school of medicine”. Being a doctor was my dream since early childhood, and there was I, with a science diploma in one hand and depression in the other. Towards the end of my university life, I started feeling like I’m not doing what I want. But the scariest part was that I didn’t know what I wanna do with my life, and the fact that I’m not feeling like I wanna be a doctor anymore made me feel ashamed and guilty in front of my family, and first of all, in front of myself. In front of that little Inkar who so much wanted to help and cure people ever since she turned 13. I wanted to cry but ah, all my tears dried up during five years of suffer studying science. I love science but I felt like something was missing like something was very empty, cold, and emotionless. I was lost up until I started a spiritual journey and had a deeper connection with myself. I never understood art before, but I felt like art is what I need to heal myself.

Right before my graduation I went deeper into a different type of yoga (ashtanga vinyasa), which opened up my mind even more. It made me see things as they truly are. My inner blindness slowly started seeing reality and my heart opened up to accept the truth about myself that I was silencing for years: I’m made for art and only art can heal me. I traveled alone to Singapore, went to a beautiful place in India called Dharamshala, did yoga six times a week, wrote and read poems, talked to people, traveled to Indonesia, and the revelation finally came to me! The moment when all the heavyweight on my heart was finally gone. All my life, I dreamed about helping people because I don’t wanna live just for the sake of living, and I thought that helping people means healing them and curing directly, i.e., by being a doctor and a surgeon. But I realized that “helping” isn’t always that literal and direct. I decided to make movies to change people’s mindset and values, to help them by showing what I’ve learned in my life without them having to experience the bad sides of “learning”, the pain, the tears, the traumas. And connect with those who already did. I realized that art can heal as much as science and medicine do. That was the most beautiful revelation in my life. And part of the art that I carry inside me all the time.

Even though my mom is a doctor herself, she supported me right away. So I decided to not sign the contract with the medical school I was accepted to and pursue whatever my heart wants to do. And I wanted to study filmmaking. To try and see if that’s what I like. I took a six months long break to be alone with myself and then left to Los Angeles to study filmmaking for a year. I wanted to try and see if that’s what I’d like to do, and I found the right answer for myself. Filmmaking is what makes me truly happy. Now I live in Los Angeles, where I direct and produce movies and do production design on various projects. I love what I do. And sometimes even cry. Because the craft of filmmaking is purely beautiful. And complex.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Changing my life goals and mindset, leaving a pre-built and comfortable life in two months was not easy. Living and surviving as an artist in Los Angeles isn’t easy either.

There are obstacles every day but all of them are part of the learning and growing process. My biggest enemy are my own thoughts, so the obstacles in the internal world are stronger than in the external. It’s all about the fight within yourself. That includes the self-criticism towards my own work that doesn’t let me praise myself for where I am at the moment. I’m trying to bring my mind to a harmony so that any external obstacles on my way are not gonna be perceived as such.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I write, direct, and produce movies. I’m a dreamer who loves coming up with new ideas and tiny little innovations in my head about the world; the creation, the function, the process of being. I love combining different topics and ideas, bringing up non-compatible concepts together. And most importantly, it’s all about what hurts or what warms up my heart. My scripts are loud; they shout, they scream, they tell you what’s inside of my mind and soul, be it about my own experience or thoughts about the world. My movies are about the way I process this life, the way I want it to be or the way it is. I’ll let my inner voice out because otherwise I will suffer. And if doing what I love and need touches someone’s heart after watching a movie of mine – I’m blessed.

Directing is a reflection of a life experience, it’s a lot of learning on the way, a lot of processing and analyzing, a lot of feelings, a lot of knowledge, a lot of observation. I have a lot to say to this world but I don’t wanna mislead anyone by making art that’s not well processed by myself. That’s why I take it slow and let myself learn life.

And while learning, I work as a production designer. I fall in love with production design with every project I make. I love it and appreciate it – it lets my creative and artistic energy out. Colors, patterns, design, texture, brainstorming, imagination, etc. – production design is all about the world, all about small details and the beauty around. The life is in details and so am I.

I love helping directors make their visions come true by sharing my own vision and creating art together.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success for me is self-satisfaction, helping others, and finding answers. I’m learning to understand that success is not an acknowledgment from others. Success is their smile because of a good contribution you make in their lives. Success is making my family proud. My family is proud when I’m happy doing what I love. So success is doing what I love and finding answers to never-ending questions on the go.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Aaron Adrian, Almas Ismurzin, Jessica Chung

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