Life is challenging for most of us. We’ve all learned coping skills and put on masks and behaviors that have served to protect us. But most of us yearn to find our true selves again.
For many years I have been an artist and jewelry designer and like many artists, finding my authentic voice as has been a challenge. As a classically trained painter, I had pushed myself hard to learn technique, and for years I made lovely, classical paintings but something inside was trying to get heard. It took me a while to let go of my learning. It was a security blanket. But all that beautiful technique was getting in my way!
Picasso said that: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” I knew I had to let go and play like a kid again. And strangely, it was hard to do! I had a solo show coming up and I wanted to exhibit work that came from my inner child. I took the plunge. What emerged was a group of surrealistic paintings that explored themes from my subconscious: questionable caretakers, hybrid creatures and mixed-up personae. The process of painting that collection brought me new insights into the roles that I had been playing, the roles others had played in my life. It also helped me to find the little girl inside me that loved to make art because it was fun!
Now I am teaching adult students to find their own authentic voices and to take hold of each and every inspiration that come from their true selves. I especially love working with private students at my studio. I learn so much from them! They create so joyfully, especially the beginners, who never knew that they had the facility to make art. I firmly believe that everyone is an artist. Most students think that other people are born with the ability to make art, and of course some do have a natural gift, but I believe creativity is as much a practice as a talent. Everyone can express themselves, get into the zone, and connect with the source energy. You just need a little encouragement.
Now I teach my class “Quiet Your Inner Critic” at a local art school, and I am developing a blog and an online course. Sharing my insights into the creative process has become a calling and I feel so blessed for it.
With Great Respect and Love,
Kelly McNelis Senegor
Founder, Women For One