A simple question, yet it often takes someone a whole lifetime to own it, to search it, to face up the truth and live it.
In the midst of exploring and getting overwhelmed by the intensity and beauty of Susan Seddon Boulet's works, and reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes's "Women who run with the wolves" and contacting with my inner wild woman, I have been going through some transformation where I felt my work has appear to be darker and more intense.
I have shown my sketches to an art gallery who have expressed interests in my earlier works where they were more vibrant and childlike and happy, but they seemed a little sceptical whether Malaysians will buy my newer works. The exhibition is estimated to open around March, providing I'm able to catch up with the deadlines. I am quite bad with deadlines. I think inside me there is a rebellious inner child that does not want to succumb to rules and deadlines. Yikes.
All along, I have been painting artworks that captures simple joy, while that satisfies a part of me, but I know there are more aspects of me that I need to explore. So digging deeper into myself recently, and perhaps going into another stage of artistic and personal maturity, I find myself being mystified by the wildness of being woman. This part of us of being female, are infinitely wise, instinctive, psyhic, connected to the wilderness that is nature, even animals, the unknown.
Even though I have not quite master the skills to portray this essence of the feminine, (the sketch below is done with crayons and acrylics on paper) and even though I felt that the art gallery's ambiguity about my new style is making me feel sceptical about moving on in this direction. Reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes's book assured me to follow that inner voice, she says
"If you want to create, you have to sacrifice superficiality, some security, and often your desire to be liked, to draw up your most intense insights, your most far-reaching visions."
(Using sgraffito technique: The night queen, woman who fly with owls. Owls symbolized wisdom, magic, seeing in darkness, a feminine creature)
I remembered I almost gave up the dream to be an artist because a friend's father, who is a sort of psychic, told me that I'm not cut out to be an artist. I carried that fatal saying which leave a deep fear and wounding in my heart. I remembered those were the years when I was engaged in working with women's organization and was very vocal about my support for women's rights. I remembered being taunted by this friend and her father, who questioned about my beliefs.
It's easy to be marginalized as a creative woman finding her voice and expressing her beliefs, when her voice doesn't go in accordance to the society at large. I am angered and saddened that women's voice are silenced, that we are told by people who think they know, that we don't have what it takes.
There's still unforgiveness and anger and sadness and disappointment of being disapproved. Yet looking back, I see that nobody has the right to tell other people how to live their lives. If this people who claim they know what's best, they most likely know the least.
Those words hurt, they have the potentiality to stop someone from chasing their dreams. Yet being me and being stubborn and headstrong (hehe, a quality I used to not like but now embraced), I went ahead just to prove a point, that we are responsible for our own lives. No prophets, psychic, medium, even in any slightest way should attempt to take away your power. In the end, I went back to my heart, the part of me which has the answer, even when sometimes it's clouded by doubts and questions.
How about you? Have you been hurt even by someone's unintentional questioning and rejection of your passion and dreams? How do you overcome it? It will be healing to tell your story, and to lift off that burden off so you could move forward lighter, and having more love for yourself and your creative work.