The Shadow Artist

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There's creativity in all of us. Some of us can source that energy so easily, becoming writers, actors, poets, painters, singers, etc... While others, like me, take a little longer to face my fears and find the artist within. 


A few weekends back, I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but never “had the time” to attempt it. I attended a 3 hour acting workshop and it was one of the most wonderful experiences I have undertaken lately. 

You see, I had never before classed myself as an actor. Not that I’m planning to become one at the moment, but it has opened up a whole new part of my identity that I didn’t even know existed. That’s because I had never viewed myself as an artist or a creative type before. 

All through my life, I have been fascinated by the arts, wanting to surround myself with creative people, attend galleries, plays, performances, be around those who were better able to express themselves creatively. Never did I dream I was one of these people. 

That is, not until I started reading 'The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron and came to realise that I have in fact been living as a shadow artist - someone who desperately wants to be creative but blocks themselves by accepting whatever label society has forced upon them. They mask their fear of actually expressing themselves creatively by being around those that they’d like to emulate but are too afraid to try. 

By taking small steps everyday day, I’ve come to realise that I too am a creator. We live in a world full of creativity and just as you were created so do you have the capability to create. How that manifests itself in your life is dependant on the activities you enjoy but you have to be willing to try things out before you can know. 


“The freedom is far scarier than the prison”. 


It’s a scary process, shedding the shadow artist identity and becoming a self-professed artist in you own right. It’s easier to shrink into the background and admire from afar. It’s what we’ve been taught to do while developing into adults. As children, all our creative ventures are encouraged and nourished but as you grow older, you’re pushed towards more “serious” roles and identities. 

Bad Blogger - The Shadow Artist

To reverse that process is extremely daunting but finding a way of expressing your inner self is a necessity in your life, whether professionally or personally. Keep a journal, take yourself out on an “artist date” to a gallery or a show, use positive affirmations to remind yourself of your potential and nurture your inner child’s love of fun and creativity. And then just give any from of artistic expression a go! It’s not about the product so much as the process. 

We all have creativity in us, it's our nature. By allowing myself to explore it, I’ve finally given myself the chance to become the true artist I know I can be... 


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