On Vulnerability and the Inner Artist. Honouring our Baby Steps as Creatives.

By Kareen Fellows

Inside many of us is a place where the inner artist has been left feeling vulnerable. That vulnerability may have happened when we received negative comments about our creativity, or where people laughed at our creativity, or even from where we felt left out. It may have been from where we felt compared to someone else, and not good enough.

One of my vulnerable places happened when I first started to paint years ago. I was in a back to work program and we were very fortunate, as we had a wonderful range of inspiring teachers who offered us courses in computing, art, and design just to name a few. Teachers who truly encouraged our creativity. Anyways... one teacher gave us silk paint, and silk material and we got to do anything we wanted.

At that time, what I wanted more than anything, was to own my own house. It looked as though I would never get one. I had heard of creating vision boards and symbols so I decided in this artwork that I would focus on home.

So I painted away merrily and was having a lovely time. UNTIL… a woman from the class walked around and looked at my art, and laughed at it and mocked me. I cringed inside, and the old critical voice took hold. I thought, ‘oh it is stupid’, ‘it is too childlike’, ‘why did I even bother’, ‘oh throw it away’, “I can’t do this” … etcetera and so on…

HOWEVER… something happened when I looked at my simple art… I looked at the colour first, and thought, ‘oh but I like the colour’… and then I remembered my focus in creating it, was the focus of owning my own home, and what that artwork represented to me… and suddenly, it didn’t matter what that woman thought.

I was happy with my creation… and do you know what happened once I reached that place inside? Other women started coming over and saying lovely things about it… which also was nice, but most of all, what was important to me, was my realisation. It is one piece of art I kept to remind me of that moment.

As you read this, are you aware of a time when you felt vulnerable over something you created?

Brene Brown gives an insightful talk about vulnerability - if you would like to listen in...

And as a footnote, yes the vision boards worked.