Are you an artist?
For decades I would never ever speak it out loud, that scary sentence: "I am an artist". I did not allow myself to be an artist. I didn't have the "right" education, I didn't have the diploma, and even though I was creating all the time, I did not believe in myself. Over the years, many people tried to tell me that I was an artist. I had friends who admired my creations, I got many compliments on my photography, dresses that I made, jewelry, and decorations, but no, that was not enough to change my mind. And all because I never succeeded in what was my idea of how others became "real" artists, the way it was accepted by society. My High School supposedly had a special focus on the arts, but all I learned there was that I was not one of them. We had some very talented kids in my class and they soon became the standard and everyone else faded away in comparison with them. I always loved arts, I admired artists and it made me feel happy just to know that the world was not just black and white and straight, but these magical people called artists could envision a world that was wildly colorful and excitingly different. But to create these visions, in my mind, was up to a few "special" people. I gave up wanting to be an artist before I had even started. I remember how my art teacher in my final year did not even believe that I had actually created my final art project, a photography collage book that I had put all my heart into. I was proud of it, and it hurt to be questioned like that. It took me years to get that judgement out of my head, to reclaim my creative spark and the power that I had given away to teachers, professors, and "professionals''.
How to heal the inner artist?
We all know, or at least we've heard about how art is healing. But how many of us have actually experienced this healing power directly through our own creations? When I was in my early thirties, I worked as a lecturer and research fellow at the University of Cologne in Germany, in the department of Art Education. I have an education background and somehow through many coincidences I ended up teaching future Art Teachers. Everyone in the faculty had a formal art education except for me, and you can only imagine how intimidated I felt. At the same time I went through a very dark phase of my life, a dark night of the soul. From the outside everything was perfect, but inside I felt completely out of touch with myself, out of balance, depressed, and lost. I started meditating a lot, because I knew I had to do something. And then I just started creating without even thinking about it, and without calling it art. Secretly, behind closed doors, and making sure that no one would ever see my creations. My creativity erupted and exploded, it was breaking out of me, freeing itself from years and years of suppression. Together with my creativity, my intuition came back to me. My self-awareness grew and I started taking care of my creative needs, giving myself time and space to create whatever I wanted. I started drawing, playing with colors, made jewelry, created strange little objects and sculptures. I also started dancing again, a lifelong love that I had given up for the career, and I even allowed myself to sing. Around this time I began to feel and understand how my creativity was connected to my intuition, to this inner voice that I began to hear very clearly. I decided to quit that good looking job and follow my heart instead. It was a scary move, I did not know what I was going to do, or where I would go. I just knew that I was not in the right place and that I was not happy with my life. So, I spent a few months just travelling around, made decorations for several little festivals all over Europe, following all those creative hobbies I had missed so dearly since I started my "real" job. I allowed myself to just float and to be free, as a person, as a creative being, as an artist. And then the magic happened and took me halfway around the world where I eventually met my husband and started a new life as an artist, educator, and guide.
I don't have a recipe for you.
I can only speak of myself, my story, my own journey. But I can tell you that from the moment I allowed my creativity to flow, my life started to flow as well. It doesn't matter what you create, if it's good or bad, if it can be considered art or not. It really is about that process of creation and about expressing something from the inside out. There is a magic in this process that will open new doors and unknown spaces inside you. And it doesn't mean that you have to change your life as radically as I did. It doesn't mean that you have to give up your job and start traveling around the world, even though it's worth a try. I believe that all you need to do is to give your inner artist some space and you will find out so much about yourself. There are many different ways to give yourself creative space. Try anything that looks interesting, that calls you, that stimulates your imagination. Keep on experimenting and even try some of the scary looking things. The world is full of opportunities to create and you don't need a big art studio or lots of expensive materials to do so. Look around you and see what inspires you.
I want to invite you to play with me and be inspired by the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. I will facilitate this workshop series in collaboration with Sama Morningstar. We will feel into each of the four elements, gain new insights into our very personal relationship to each element, and find different ways to express the energy of these elements in drawing and writing.
Antje is an artist, guide, and educator whose main goal is to support self-discovery in a creative way. For a long time Antje suffered from blocked creativity, being unable to express herself freely. The only way out was to break through the blocks and start creating, no matter what. Her own healing journey to overcome self-doubt and perfectionism took her deep into different womb wisdom schools and practices, meditation, energy healing, and conscious art practices. She had to connect with herself, find and reclaim her creative center, and recover the joy of creating for it's own sake. Now, she works mainly with the Neurographica® Method, which is a transformational drawing practice that allows us to access the wisdom of our own subconscious, activates new neural pathways, and opens opportunities for inner change. As a Womb-centered Healing practitioner she focuses on the healing power of our creative energy and loves to share her meditative art journeys.
Learn more about Antje and her work: https://neuroartproject.net