“Creativity takes courage.”
― Henri Matisse
I’ve done a lot of writing about shadows and personal darkness. Yet looking at the vast majority of my art, conversation and writing it all verges on brightness and aspiration and positive energy. When I get into discussions where I disagree with people I tend to pull my punches. Part of the reason for that is that usually I can see where they’re coming from. Part of it is to avoid conflict. I have some fear in that area. Not only what amount of anger or negativity may come out of the other when I’m talking to them but what I may reveal to them about my own negative side.
My temper tends towards the sharp and vicious. When I was younger and much less discriminate and I grew angry at someone, all too often I would clue into their area of greatest personal insecurity and attack them there. I had almost a preternatural instinct for where that was. I hurt a few people deeply and ruined a few friendships and relationships before I gained anything like control. Now if only I could learn a way to combine that control with the insight I could / can help people a lot. To do that I have to not be afraid of my own shadow.
In art and writing as much as I love beautiful things that inspire, I also have a fondness for horror. Oh not so much the slash, slash splatter serial killer Friday the 13th type (tho Freddie who dwells in Nightmares can touch some interesting triggers for me) but the more psychological gut-pulling horror of Edgar Allen Poe or Stephen King. Stephen King has this ability to show the dark side of human beings. The side made even uglier because it is repressed. I also have this enjoyment for stories and art that show the underside of creation, the type of art that H. P. Lovecraft wrote about and Hieronymus Bosch drew.
Yet aside for the occasional picture full of eyes I’ve resisted that in my own art. Part of that it’s been dawning on me has had to do with the same type of fear that keeps me in the ‘nice guy’ role in discussions. Am I that worried what people who enjoy my art may think? That is partly it. Partly there has been a fear of what may happen when the bottle is uncorked and the genie come out. I have a strong suspicion tho that it may just unlock further creativity and growth in me. Facing one’s fear and leaving one’s comfort zone tends to do that.
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