A ubiquitous term, but this all began with a 'journey'.
A journey entering into ever deeper, darker territory, into the soul, where reality, ego and physicality are consciously left behind.
A test of inner strength in battling and quieting the mind – of allowing the imagination and the brave, curious inner child lead the way.
Two years on and many journeys later, the creative spark is re-lit. It emerges unconsciously through spirit, in fluidity and colour and bold marks, reflecting feeling, emotion, shadow aspect...
The journey for me began ten years ago, in actual fact. It has been a long decade of self-discovery and learning to let go a lot of emotional baggage, unwanted thought patterns and engrained behaviours. It has involved psychological support, self-learned methods of healing, creative therapy – such as writing and learning drums, and dabbling in all sorts of weird and wonderful subjects that have not only helped open my mind further but revealed the high expectations and limits I put on myself and also placed on others.
The threads of where I am now began in childhood, with a depth of imagination I don't think anyone around me realised was quite as vivid as it was. I kept that a secret like many other things. Such as my creative exploits. To me creating was precious and magical, somewhat sacred, the act as well as what came of it. The experience was mine, for me alone, and I liked nothing better than being free to explore it for hours and days at a time, without interruption or being brought back into the real world with a holler and a thud.
Little has changed. In later life and hitting middle age, I have accepted this is me. Imagination and creating is my core existence. The years I fought off the temptation to delve, and instead tried to fit in with others and their reality, practically ignoring my soul urge, I became ever miserable and deeply lacking in inspiration. It was like having the light and life sucked out of me.
For a long while, I was dutiful and loyal and did my best to keep others happy, forgetting about the little girl in me that needed to find joy, to experiment, to be left to do her own thing however odd it seemed to others. The truth emerged that she needed me to show my loyalty to her.
I believe she waited in the shadows, biding her time, silent and watchful. She waited until I began to lose my grip, to slip into lost memories and start remembering her. In her surrounding chaos sits the need for control, relieved only by creating. Only in that space can she be her true self, feel free and alive, and be open to the pure flow of ideas. And that is where the real art happens.