The Creatrix and the Creative Life
by Cat Caracelo
Living creatively is a dynamic act.
Creative living is sensual and sensory, playful and powerful…
To be an artist of life, to live a creative life introduces us to our true selves, the aspects we know well and those we have hidden behind or are not yet known.
Creativity is personal and yet it is not isolated to individual process.
There is a ripple effect that is activated or ARTiculated by being in relationship with image-based wisdom.
Through art making, making marks, touching paper, layering image, finding form, exploring color, moving materials we come to see, sense and realize who we are and begin to realize how we are actively changing as the art makes us. We experience ourselves more fully through symbol, image, texture, color, story and dreams. We rise inside as we explore, express and come to embody the artist within, yet it is the emerging energy of creative fire, the Creatrix herself, that can bring new energy to our creative practice.
Creativity has been defined and described through many lenses throughout time. In my youth I learned that the term of artist was designated to fine artists, but as I grew into my teens I was being influenced by self-expression in ways that couldn’t be denied.
From subtle to playful, contemplative to philosophical and wild to raunchy, I was exposed to the Creatrix in all of her forms…long before I knew her personally. After a time of bouncing around, I landed in art school in my late teens and struggled to express my vision and those old tethers of fine art, expectations of drawing with precision and moving my ideas into form, caused me to question my ability. I did not know how to express or differentiate my feelings, visions, desires and dreams into the art that I could foresee being important to me. I was not yet able to understand my work, plum the depths and too scared to release myself to pleasure and play.
… As an art school dropout I disowned my artist, my fiery creative, the parts of me that yearned to express themselves in nonlinear ways were subdued and redirected. It wasn’t until I returned to meet these disowned parts over twenty years later that I could redefine what creativity meant to me, how it moved through me and that I could and would embody my whole self, artist and all.
Art as Process, meeting the page, making the mark, finding the thread, telling the story… seeking that which is held within the whole… this is the creative way that saved my life. I found my way back to discovering art as process while doing shadow work, parts work and ancestral shamanism, finding that which had been disowned and lost through time and perspective…there were several potent creative ways that informed me in those earliest days, with strong connections to experiential learning and powerful creative teachers influencing my process and growing awareness at this same time.
The Creatrix will begin to rise in times of transition.
When one is shedding the old or in a state of renewal, when healing is happening and desire is guiding, these important state changes invite her to come forth, to be birthed and grow.
She can come in any or many forms…seeking her wisdom is worth the risk!
Finding creativity within yourself is an act of art-making and life-making.
Identifying the artist within and discovering what is true for you will bring you into relationship with your archetypal Creatrix. Each time you recognize you are in a creative act, whether harvesting images, hands on art-making or connecting in nature, playing in a puddle, rearranging a room, seeing a sunset…ask her to guide you.
Through her rising wisdom, you will often discover aspects of your brilliance and feel the heat of the creative fire rising.
You may also find yourself led to parts of self who have been diminished or disowned, the Creatrix wants you to see, know and hear where creativity can be blocked. Many times these parts of self will come through with a story or challenge, a voice of critic energy; they may tantrum, question or discount your efforts. This can be difficult to discover because it initially feels like “the creative desire rising cannot be trusted or true.” When critic energy comes, be very conscious of where those parts hold fear of failure, worth and other shadow stories. Often this energy is the residue of the past, other people’s shame that has been “swallowed” inadvertently, by you – but when creative fire is rising it can frighten the young ones inside, so parts of self that are hyper-protective will struggle.
This is where Art as Process and engaging the Journey holds profound possibility. In utilizing these methods of creating, the process of expression can reveal what is true and reconnect us with what we need to know. The relationship with the creative act will expose whatever is needed, not only in the layering, blending of images that are compelling, but discovering new layers of knowing through the interpretive readings and speaking from the cards themselves.
This changed me… art as process, what might be called expressive or transformative art that is focused on what is happening within the art making, the energetic connection with creating and noticing what is surfacing within each moment, rather than designing the creative process around the outcome.
This became MY new model of being an artist, living life through the lens of art, feeling my hands connecting to materials and remembering deep roots back in time… red ochre hands on the cave walls to claim my connection. Over time I was able to foster a deep and dynamic relationship with all of my inner (and outer) artists, some were quiet and contemplative and others determined and non-linear, young and old alike, some shapeshifted and invited me to become other than human. These parts of self, some holding strong archetypal patterns and other personal stories, all expressed unique needs, perspectives and qualities. All of this wisdom became my self-knowledge that circled the guidance of the Creatrix, who often came (and comes) in the form of Fire Dancer to beat the drum, light the flame…artist, dancer, warrior, visionary, she rises inside.
I have met many people who have disowned their artistic selves, just as I had. They thought they could not be creative and did not yet have access to the wisdom, energy and momentum held within. Often operating through the lens of an old story or someone else’s outdated versions of artist or creative, they yearned for the freedom of expression and wanted to experience what art as process could hold. They saw in others what they wanted to be…art or image envy always offers a clue to the light or golden shadow of the self. Consider the shadow story of what is possible and who you are becoming. What seems impossible or out of reach (the light or golden shadow because it is future focused rather than historical) can be triggered by creative comparison and yearning. When this happens, own it and use that desire to find new direction.
Invite the Creatrix to guide your life.
There is no one way to approach art and life. Art is life. Creativity is inherent to each of us and full, deep, true expression asks for more space and powerful creative ways to reveal its wisdom and guide growth. Explore these creative questions:
• When it comes to creativity, is there something you yearn to refine or redefine?
• How are your inner artists speaking to you or through you?
• Who asking to be noticed, allowed and accepted?
• What new knowledge will Creatrix bring when she is offered space, image and voice?
Cat Caracelo, artist, guidess and founder of JourneyPath Institute has developed tthe Creative Depth Approach using imaginal, archetypal and intuitive journey work to deepen, heal and connect to one's life path at all stages of experience and discovery.
JourneyPath® Institute is dedicated to integrative Jungian depth work, transformational pathways and art as process to support healing, wholeness and expansion.
The Institute offers a space to explore depth work, archetypal presence, journey work, distinctive experiential and creative programs. Delve deeply into Intuitive Ways of Knowing, Narrative Process, Myth, Story, Expressive Art, Depth concepts and tools to develop ones own process and expand your original voice when working with self, individuals and groups. Learn more at her website, www.journeypathinstitute.com
And a FREE offering from Cat - Archetype Quiz Gift. Learn more here!