Most creative people probably find actively using their imaginations to explore and express themselves is more than just casual play, it is an enduring passion starting early in life.
Jane Piirto, Ph.D. writes in her book “Talented Children and Adults” about a “talent taking over and capturing the passion and commitment of the person who has the talent.”
She notes explanations for this have come “from Socrates, who described the inspiration of the Muse; Carl Jung described the passion that engrosses; depth psychologist James Hillman described the presence of the daimon in creative lives.”
See more in my article Prodded by our daimon muse to be creative.
“I was a theater camp kid. It’s all that my friends and I did.
“We were always creating movies and plays…Instead of playing on the playground, we were rehearsing musicals that we wrote.”
Jemima Rooper reportedly expressed a wish to be an actress at the age of nine and contacted an agent.
She talked about her early drive to create:
“I remember writing ‘I want to act’ on my bed in lipstick. I think I told my mum I wanted to be an actress and she said I needed an agent to do that.
“I must have said: ‘Well, I’m going to get one’
“She was devastated. She said: ‘Please don’t be an actress, be a doctor or lawyer.’ But I was very tunnel-visioned about it all.
“I’m an only child and I spent a lot of time alone.
“I played a lot of imaginary games. I just wanted to dress up and be weird, I suppose.” (From her imdb profile.)
Mihaela Ivan Holtz, Psy.D., LMFT provides psychotherapy for creative people in TV/Film, performing and fine arts, and writes about the emotional and creative pleasures of this inner life – and its challenges.
The title for this article of mine comes from one of hers – here is an excerpt:
At heart, you are a True Artist.
Creating and performing is not an option, it’s what you are. To feel alive, you must create and perform.
Your creative energy comes from the core of who you are. This deep desire to express your creativity drives you forward.
Even if, at times, it feels as if you’ve exhausted that inner source, it’s still there. And, it keeps coming back. It never goes away. You feel it. You know it’s there.
You can’t deny it. You can’t lock your creative passion in a box and forget about it.
Sometimes, however, despite the fact that you know you are an artist at heart, you deny that creative drive.
Maybe you feel it’s too scary. There are already too many artists out there, you think.
Or perhaps you feel you can’t really be successful as an artist. The competition is fearless.
Maybe you should go for a more practical life. You can’t be an artist and have a family.
Or maybe you’re telling yourself, “I’m not unique enough,” or, “I’m not talented enough,” or, “I’m just another impostor.”
And yet, beyond all these doubts, you are a True Artist, and so, when you deny your internal creative drive, it comes back to get your attention.
Sadly your creative self doesn’t come back with that new song idea, a desire to rehearse, or brilliant strokes on a canvas.
Instead, when your creativity tries to speak to you from that locked box inside your heart, it often looks more like emptiness, boredom, loneliness, agitation, and feeling stuck.
Repressed creativity doesn’t speak to you directly, but in so many ways it says, “I’m here. You can’t lock me away. I’m always here and I need to be free and express your deepest desires, fears, pain, hopes, and dreams.”
It’s almost like the ghost of your creative repression is asking you to see it, feel it, and connect with it so you let it be alive again, to take you to all the places that it needs to take you.
Unfortunately, when you ignore that creative voice long enough, the road back to your creative essence often takes you on a dark detour that might include depression, anxiety, and addictions.
When your creative energy can’t be expressed, your creative potential is not fulfilled. You live in the shadow of what you could manifest, what you could be, or what you could be acknowledged for.
Many things can stand between you and your creative energy
Fears, doubts, and insecurities can create a wall between you and your creative drive.
Or maybe something is keeping you from feeling stimulated in the right way and you’re not open to inspiration.
Unhealed guilt and shame can interfere. Sometimes you can lose touch with your emotional creative space and you simply do not feel authentic when you create.
Perhaps you are having a creative identity crisis.
Stress can get in the way too.
Even love conflicts can stand between you and your creative energy.
So, what’s behind the fears, the doubts, the shame, the guilt, or insecurities that keep you away from expressing your creative desires?
First, it’s important to keep in mind that all of these fears, doubts, insecurities, guilt, or shame you may be experiencing are just normal part of the life as an artist.
These emotional challenges in themselves are not really what keeps your creative energy stuck.
What keeps your creative energy trapped are the defensive mechanisms, the unhealthy tactics that you build over the years to protect yourself from difficult feelings.
Continue reading the article:
A True Artist Must be Connected to Their Creative Desire
by Mihaela Ivan Holtz.
Photo: “I still have pretty much the same fears I had as a kid. I’m not sure I’d want to give them up; a lot of these insecurities fuel the movies I make.” Writer, producer, director Steven Spielberg – from article Gifted, Talented, Creative, Anxious – Dealing With Our Fears and Stress.
Creative identity can be distorted by stereotypes and misconceptions
Ballet dancer Misty Copeland commented about her work in the film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” and how dancers and other artists may be perceived and misperceived.
“A lot of people have an idea of what they think ballet is,” Copeland said.
“We’re not all crazy people that have eating disorders and are overly sexualized and are strippers in our side gig.
“I just want to tell authentic stories that highlight the amazing beauty of ballet.”
From article Misty Copeland is on a mission to bring ballet to mass audiences with Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker and the Four Realms’ by Makeda Easter, Los Angeles Times Nov 03, 2018.
A ‘divine unrest’
“No artist is pleased.
“There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
“There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
– quoted in several articles of mine, including Gifted and Stressed.