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Past the sharp, prickly edges, beyond the intensity, behind the often unappreciated humor, and underneath the melancholy, the artist is a quiet, yet fierce being.

They must often be discovered, sometimes by another, before they see themselves for who they are.

There are places where artists are accepted and celebrated. And there are others where they are delegated to the shadows. They often remain there, bridled, closeted, sometimes even buried, because the world cannot handle their expression.

The artist sees what others cannot, or will not believe. It is disconcerting for many to believe that they are not capable of shielding everything from the outside world. When they realize that the artists among them can and do see beyond what is obvious, it incites fear, perhaps even jealousy, and, often, judgment. Their vulnerabilities are exposed. Black and white are no longer black and white but every hue in between. And knowing that, realizing that, they cling to their absolutes and punish those who would question them with ridicule, scoffing, indifference, or dismissal.

Those with a binary mindset cannot fully appreciate art with any type of depth. The artist knows that there is no right or wrong, good or bad, when it comes to creating. There is just the creating. The realizing. The exploration. The discovery. And it is all beautiful, even when it’s labeled as “ugly” or misunderstood by others.

But it matters not. It can takes years to rise above it, but still, it is an illusion of captivity for the artist. And one that each one must awaken from in their own time and in their own way. 

The outside world cannot forever hold sway over the artist and their need to create and express. It builds within them until they must release it. They don’t need outside critics, for they are their own. Perfectionism, their inner demon. A mindset that can only be broken by being imperfect, and embracing it. Celebrating it. Sharing it. 

When artists meet one another, there is joy. There is connection. There is blessed acceptance and the sweet release of chains formed by insecurity and doubt and wondering if we are destined to always be an outcast. 

No longer are we tied to just what makes sense. We are freed to possibility of what could be. What might be. What is. Even if we’re the only one who can see it. 

The artist paints, writes, films, acts, plays music, sings……

They create. We create. 

Past the sharp, prickly edges, beyond the intensity, behind the often unappreciated humor, and underneath the melancholy, the artist is a quiet, yet fierce being. 

And she is rising.

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