I started Writerpreneur Magazine with the express intention of sharing what I had learnt along the writer’s path, and it has been a labour of love to which I am still loyally committed. The problem with writing about technicalities and theory was that the spiritual, deeper side of art and literature kind of got left out. The writer in me, the stereotypical brooding overthinker, didn’t really have space in an online magazine geared up to helping other writers find inspiration and general advice.
Art in the Shadows was born out of a need to relate some deeper psychological and spiritual meaning, some therapeutic self-help for the conditions that afflict us all at one point or another. Depression, grief, loneliness, boredom, addiction, abuse, self-harm; the list of afflictions associated with the so-called Human Condition, is long and complex, but as I have discovered through my writing and my studies, art and literature can have a powerfully positive and healing influence.
Writerpreneur Magazine will continue as part of the site and can be accessed from the tabs on the front page menu, or from this link: WRITERPRENEUR MAGAZINE | ART IN THE SHADOWS
ART AND LITERATURE AS THERAPY
With mental health consistently receiving the attention it deserves, we are awash with ways to practice self-therapy and be kind to ourselves. For some of us, this is part of a natural and innate ability to look after ourselves, but for most of us, it isn’t quite that simple.
Never before have there been so many weapons to fight mental health issues with; medical advancements in holistic techniques are at the forefront of the fight, but unfortunately, we are often coached on how amazingly effective a weapon is against the enemy without actually being taught how to use it. Placing a gun in your hand doesn’t actually mean you know how to fire it. Or even whether a gun is the right weapon.
The main advice that seems to consistently meet in the middle of all the varying techniques for treating mental health issues is that true healing has to begin from within; it simply can’t be any other way. The answers, even though they may be outside of you, have to take root in your own head, heart, and soul; there is no other way.
Obviously, some people have genuine medical issues which can’t simply be addressed by psychotherapy, but on the spectrum of mental health issues, there is a whole category of people who can be described as ‘lost souls’, the people who struggle every day to keep afloat, faking a smile, trying to practice gratitude, the lost and confused. For these people, there is always hope, there is always a way that doesn’t need to incorporate drink, drugs, overeating, undereating, self-harm, or any other coping strategy that actually doesn’t work.
Art in the Shadows is designed as a guide to self-therapy through art, literature, and any creative activity that helps provide self-expression as part of a healing process. It may be that you can heal completely, or it may be that a little creative time could just offer some respite in your black times. Either way, you will benefit. That is the beauty of creative therapy; for brief moments, you can be free of your demons and recognise that there is hope and beauty in the world.