Shadow Artists

en plein air at Capital District, Honolulu

Shadow artists as described by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist Way, are those who are artists but won’t acknowledge it and thus, just like water, find other ways to direct their creative instincts. Some become shadow artists, hanging around the edges of ‘real’ artists’ lives and patronizing cultural institutions, financially supporting a struggling talent, or in some cases, becoming vicious ravagers of fledgling artists. As an artist, I’ve met all the variants of the Shadow Artist, and each time I feel a deep sadness as I see how they have repressed their identity.

Each year, I invite a few to join me in going through the Artist Way. Each fall, I go through the Artist Way with a dear friend–we’ve been doing it ever since we took a pilgrimage to New York in 2014. We check in weekly over a period of twelve weeks to go ever deeper into our process and practice.

This COVD period has been a blessing for many artists I know, who are often introverts. They confess a guilty relief at being forced to stay home and not meet people. We have time to think, to doodle, to dream, to sleep and rest. I didn’t want to turn this thread into a COVD documentation but since it keeps dragging on, perhaps it is ok to record snapshots of how life for an artist is under political COVD19 tyranny.

It brings out the core of us, our instincts and how deep our wells goes to draw resilience and hope from. I have found my faith goes deep indeed and have found relief in discovering this. I have found my circle can be drawn to the smallest circumference but the ties that bind and bond and build are still intact no matter how many hours or miles separate us. Each of those dearests to me all have one thing in common: we all strive towards the light and love those who do the same.

A friend said she thinks COVD19 is an opportunity for every soul to decide: what kind of person and what kind of life do we want for ourselves?

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