Artist, gender, Psychology, Transgender artist

I’m Back After A Long Hiatus

C8F3D0F4-771B-4108-8D7F-440CCB22D07F Updated Life: I am resurrecting and re-tuning my blog to catch you up on my life after several years of blog abandonment. As you will discover, I have had a whole lot of change over the years since starting this blog. Formerly my blog was about food, art and poetry. It was pretty “themed”. This time around I’m re-tuning it to a more serious (at times) raw, revealing blog on my artist’s life and mind. As I state in my profile, “The Artist From the Inside Out”. My story goes like this. I began making art as a child (like many artists) it was my escape into my own world. Then suddenly hit by adolescence life became very painful and confusing. I found myself in constant turmoil unable to sustain art making. After years of self-inflicted dysfunction in my teenage years, I once again turned to art to heal my pain. I began to gain some inner strength and decided to go to art school earning a BFA in painting and drawing; taking self healing a step further I also obtained a certificate in Art Therapy. However, upon graduation, my road quickly became disjointed once again. I suddenly found myself in a whirlwind. I was in a relationship, we had a baby to support, I was an activist hitting the streets protesting and chanting, I was donating my art skills and basically heading for burnout. I was lost. I had been running from myself and my art. Instead of the art building me up, it clearly was breaking me down. It just became too painful and tormenting for me to continue. I was having an all-out identity crisis as an artist. I was never clear on my identity, my voice. I would create, then run, create then run, etc. There was an art therapy joke my peers and I would often say to each other, “You know what they say? Every painting you make is a self- portrait!” (I hated my self-portraits). So I quit making my art. I ran from myself.

Years later I sat alone in my living room deeply wounded from a job loss. I was determined to start making art again but this time it would be different. I was insistent on tackling my blocks. I had been listening to a podcast from “The Artists Entrepreneur Network” it was discussing finding your identity as an artist. Then Boom! Just like that my wall came crashing down and I jumped up, slapped myself on the head and said “no wonder you can’t find your identity as an artist! You’ve had GENDER identity crises your entire life!” I admitted to myself at that moment that I was transgender. It was HUGE in my understanding of why I kept running and dodging myself as an artist, (hell as a human being) all these years. Today, I truly believe this is how art built me into what I claim for myself as the man-made artist.

Going through this life changing transition and claiming my true identity means I am not afraid to look at who I am anymore. I’m making great art in different new ways. I’m happily married. I have a great and successful son. The weight of self-hatred and extreme self-judgement lifted off me when I realized my true identity and began my transition to freedom. It has allowed me to create freely and explore ALL of me as an artist. I have opened myself to the business of making art, an avenue I had shut down previously due to my constant instability. Sure I’m a work in progress, but who isn’t. I don’t need to manipulate my self-identity to suit my fictional idea of self anymore. I created a “way” of existing in order to securely live, and that has been very eye-opening. Everyday I’m excited at the myriad of interests and self-discovery I have now as a man, yet at the same time I deeply mourn the years lost to my fears.

© [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com], [2018]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, artwork, or photo’s without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [Jay Mora-Shihadeh] and [thepainterspalate.wordpress.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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