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Thursday, February 17, 2011


What is it that makes a person have an artist's soul? Is it genetic or is it how that person is wired?
I think it's a little bit of both for I know I definitely have one: I may never be a great artist or writer but trust me, I know I have an artist's soul. From the time that I was little things didn't look the same to me as they did to most.

Yes, the image was the same whether it was real, right in front of me or solving problems such as in math or learning to read. But I always saw it in a different way and still do. Others would see it one way and then there was my way; no matter which, we all got to the same destination. Mine just happened to have gotten there by a different path--a strange one and yet it worked. When I was about ten I realized that when I called someone on the phone, I had memorized the phone number in a shape. Strange? You think?And it has been like that from then till now. Everytime I pick up the phone to call someone, instantly pops up the specific shape before I dial.

And it doesn't stop with just the above.
It has overlapped every single task that I do: I am aware of it and thought I was alone in my way of thinking or feeling. Trust me, I'm not.
An artist's soul is one that feels more deeply than others, is wounded more deeply and permeates every single fiber in his or her body. There are major feelings of highs and then lows but I'm not veering off onto a psychological area-- for it is what it is. Everyone knows who Vincent Van Gogh is and everyone knows that in a fit of rage, he cut off his own ear! No I'm not into self-mutilation on my part but am trying to make a point that Van Gogh had such intense feelings that he harmed himself. He was in an arguement with Gauguin and the rage consumed him. No doubt Gauguin had his own set of problems. Who doesn't?

Intense feelings go hand in hand with a person who has an artist's soul.
An example of that would be as in my case, whether I'm writing or painting or making cards, I want to be alone so I can throw myself completely into what I am trying to create. If close friends are here or my grandsons or my thirteen year old granddaughter [who writes and paints incredibly,] it doesn't bother me at all. Sights, sounds, smells are all intensified--they always have been and always will be for I can't change how I am made up. My friends and family know how it is: My family definitely does for the artist soul lurks in them as well. Genetic.

I wear my heart on my sleeve and am easily hurt although I attempt to hide it, which is not easy.
What I create has "me" in it. If you write, paint, sew, design in any area, play a musical instrument or are a singer or do anything in this category or something not listed, you have to know how it is. And do we like criticism? It is very hard to take for if you have this soul, when someone attacks your work then you perceive it as a personal attack. And in reality, doesn't everyone perceive that? Shrugging it off takes lots of discipline!

I think I was drawn to writing stories and drawing and painting because they were something that was mine.
And over the years, I have come to realize that if someone doesn't like what I create it doesn't bother me for there are times when I don't like it either. If you were to use a high-tech scan on my artworks, you'd see many paintings underneath them. My own personal thing is that if I don't like it,  I can always cover it up and start all over. And oh how many times have I done that? I've lost count. Same thing with writing: I've written and written and destroyed and destroyed: Thank heavens for Word on a computer. You can type it, save it, edit it and then publish it. Or you can send it to the recycle bin!

My purpose in writing this is to hopefully create an awareness of an artist's soul. So many people are clueless about how it is to have this and jump the gun and brand when they shouldn't. When I saw the movie, "The King's Speech," one part that really jolted me was that he had been forced to become right-handed when he was really left-handed. That one mere fact almost destroyed him for it was one factor that led to his stuttering. I have had so many students who were as he--forced to use the different hand. And I had to talk and persuade so many of these students' parents to let them use their right hand; it made all the difference in the world academically and socially. And it gave them back their self-esteem.
Try googling "artist soul" and see if you aren't surprised at the results found. But you might be surprised to find out that you, too have an artist soul. And should you, welcome to the different way of thinking, doing and living.
I can't imagine any other way of living--how could I?

Sherry Hill

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I can sympathize with your growing up "just a little strange." I know how it felt. I was also a quiet child who didn't talk much and spent a lot of time dreaming - about all kinds of things. Later, that dreaming turned into book reading, which I did almost all my waking hours. When I was an adolescent, I thought I was an intellectual. Now, I know I was just a WV'n, like many others, who enjoyed a life based on quiet reflection.