Confessions of an artist


Creative – Anthony Shea

I am constantly being inspired by paintings, drawings, books, and quotes. I love quotes! I recently saw this one and it rang true for me.


I have had this feeling since I can remember. There is a pull within me to communicate, to share the stories that are in me. The feeling is more like right-down-desperate to share, but there is this other side who wants to hide under the quilt and not even share one peep.


If I feel like hiding I put it down on the page, it’s more like I’m sharing the little secrets that burrowing within me, the stories that no one else wants to share or is willing to share. It’s my keep-them-at-an-arms-length mentality, but there is a desire to share this constant battle of wanting to bare my thoughts and stories, but not sure how I want to because of failure; being laughed at or even praise, that would mean I did something good and I would have to be recognized for that achievement and I don’t like attention. Yes, this is my true confessions as an artist.

Is this feeling a little bit like shame? I went back to the Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron to see what she has shared.

Those of us who get bogged down by fear before action are usually being sabotaged by an older enemy, shame. Shame is a controlling device. Shaming someone is an attempt to prevent the person from behaving in a way that embarrasses us. ~ Julia Cameron

I have been shamed on a few occasions as a child and those moments stick to your DNA like super glue. It’s only when you realize that you are not what other people say you are, and that you are perfect the way you are. This is really what letting go feels like.


Making a piece of art may feel a lot like telling a family secret. Secret telling, by its very nature, involves shame and fear. It asks the question “What will they think of me once they know this?” This is a frightening question, particularity if we have ever been made to feel ashamed for our curiosities and explorations – social, sexual, spiritual.

“How dare you?” angry adults often rage at an innocent child who has stumbled onto a family secret. (How dare you open your mother’s jewelry box? How dare you open your father’s desk drawer? How dare you open the bedroom door?How dare you go down in the cellar, up in the attic, into some dark place where we hide those things we don’t want you to know?)

Art brings things to light. It illuminates us. It sheds light on our lingering darkness. It casts a beam into the heart of our own darkness and says, “See?” – Julia Cameron

When I work on my manuscript, or a new story I get glimpses of this beam of light and love, and I’m very comfortable with my darkness that I welcome the light into the dark spots of my mind. I welcome the truth to show my ego that it’s wrong, and ego’s are wrong, that’s ego.


Art opens closets, airs out the cellars and attics. It brings healing. But before a wound can heal it must be seen, and this act of exposing the wound to air and light, the artist’s act, is often reacting to with shaming. Many artists begin a piece of work, get well along in it, and then find, as they near completion, that the work seems mysterious drained of merit. It’s no longer worth the trouble. To therapists, this surge of sudden disinterest (“It doesn’t matter”) is a routine coping device employed to deny pain and ward off vulnerability. Adults who grew up in a dysfunctional homes learn to use this coping device very well. They call it detachment, but it is actually a numbing out. – Julia Cameron

Women in sea
Women in sea

Sometimes I will get knee-deep into my work and then all of a sudden I feel tired and don’t want to go on. I have mentioned this before and I believe it’s the old behavior of how I use to be and now I am no longer that shy little girl who can do no wrong. I am a woman who makes mistakes and that’s okay. These truthful moments help me push on, to continue to write and to find out where the story goes and what other stories that will show up. These moments I am grateful for. For this moment, being right here and now with you, typing away, expressing and sharing without shame is truly a great moment.

Until next time, keep on typing…



2 thoughts on “Confessions of an artist

  1. I can relate to so much of what you share here. That moment when nothing you’ve done feels worth it, that reluctance to go forward… it haunts me. Thank you so much for sharing this: it does a soul good to read that someone else is facing the same challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

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