Art & Craft Musings

Embracing Your Inner Darkness

I’m afraid of my inner darkness. That might not be a very surprising statement, because I don’t know many people going around declaring how much they luuuuuuuurve their dark stuff. (Other words for this might be inner demons, or issues, or icky stuff, or what do you call it?)

I had a realisation the other day though: I have this wonderful platform for exploring my darkness in a safe place.


And yet I don’t. I’m afraid of what might come out. I’m afraid it might not be pretty. I’m afraid I’ll sit down with the intention to connect with some darkness and then for nothing to happen because I don’t even know HOW to do it.

You may have noticed I like to draw pretty faces. Or cute whimsies. I love stuff that looks pretty, cute and colourful. It’s definitely the type of art I enjoy looking at (as evidenced by my Pinterest). I actually even enjoy creating cute & pretty stuff.

It’s not like I don’t like what I create, but when I think about it, I might not feel a deep satisfaction with what I create lately.

This is kind of funny, because a while back I broke through the block of not enjoying the result of what I created (can you say: inner critic?). Then a while after that I broke through the block of not enjoying the process.

And now I’m finding there is another block to encounter & work through. It’s scary, but it’s actually also exciting! It sends such a strong message to me that this is a journey. That whatever we learn and learn to deal with, we’re never done because there’s always MORE. It keeps life (and art!) from getting boring.

So I’m going to be digging in. Trying to access and let flow the scary stuff. Let my own intuition and inner landscape guide me.

Are you with me? Ready to face the scary stuff in a safe space?

Half the time I don't know wtf I'm doing, but I think I have this wish to display to the world that I've got it all figured out. That stuff I do is intentional, you know, with purpose. But I realise I hide behind it. That I pretend even to myself that I know all the steps. It's the really letting go that I'm scared of. On this spread I'm trying. But it's still actively TRYING rather than just LETTING or BEING. It's so scary. It's so exciting. I just want to stick with it and see where this journey takes me. #intuitiveart #lettinggo #artismyteacher #mixedmedia #artjournal #irisimpressionsart

Flowers Grow Out Of Darkness | mixed media in A5 art journal | @rrreow

Pink Hills | mixed media in A5 art journal | @rrreow

By Iris

Hi I'm Iris! I'm a mixed media artist from London, UK. I want to inspire everyone with a creative heart to make and do what they love!

5 replies on “Embracing Your Inner Darkness”

I am definitely with you, our family has been through a lot the last 2 years and I all but gave up on my art because, like you, it wouldn’t have been pretty. I don’t want to bang on about all my issues but I found out my daughter had been molested by our babysitter when she was small so we have been going through a court case and also another really bad incident with myself, so I was scared to rely on my creativity to bring it to the foreground, I was scared that people would see and ask me why the paintings looked the way they did so I just didn’t journal at all. It is a few months on from the court cases and some brightness is coming into my life again thanks to art but now I look back and wish I had of painted or drawn my way through the grief as it has helped me immensely since i decided to pick up a paint brush again. It certainly is an amazing healer.

Dear Iris, I’m definitely with you! Sometimes I feel that my inner critic is so strong that keeps me even from getting close to my craft table! I fight it and then I find my self not enjoying the process or not getting satisfaction from the result! I wonder why all these happen, where are they coming from and if and when they end somewhere! So I’m definitely with you!

I am going through a true soul searching time in life right now. At first, I fought it. Now, I embrace it. I have had to come face to face with some of my dark stuff. I didn’t like it. I was appalled at myself. What I have realized is that it is a part of who I am & fighting it won’t conquer it. I had to learn to embrace the darkness & know that it’s ok to feel certain things that are deemed less than honorable. I learned to step back and observe the emotions & what was truly bringing them on. I discovered a selfishness that made me ashamed, but I also came to understand that it was a natural reaction and that it was ok as long as I became aware & dealt with it honestly. As long as I am honest with my True self, & honor what is right within Me, I overcome the darkness & a little more light shines in and illuminates even more. As I am enlightened to my inner darkness, step by step I will deal with it and remove its power in my life.
I am still not sure how to incorporate this in my art at this point but I will continue to seek that as well.

I really connect with what you wrote here Carol. It’s as you say, discovering and not being afraid to really connect with YOUR truth (however uncomfortable it might make you feel due to social conditioning) is the thing that leads to growth and clarity. Big hugs. xx

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