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Grow by Tatiana Kuzyk.
"Grow" by Tatiana Kuzyk — Mixed Media On Canvas, 20 x 20"
Artist's Musings On Creative Process : Self-Esteem and Creativity

Artist's Musings On Creative Process

Self-Esteem and Creativity — Which One Comes First?

By Tatiana Kuzyk

Couple of years ago I heard Caroline Myss talk about developing one's intuition. She said that without a healthy self-esteem a person will never have courage to acknowledge and follow that authentic inner voice. Initially, that observation made some intellectual sense for me, but deep inside I tried to fight its truism. In fact, the more I thought about it the more frustrated I felt. Self-esteem, or rather its lack, had become a code word I was using to explain to myself why I couldn't have what I wanted in life. This was an ever-elusive, hyphened symbol of my emotional 'promised land' — feeling authentically good about who I was in the NOW. Simply BEING. Being in the moment, in the present, not some future destination that was to be reached only AFTER each item on my to-do-list will be completed in hopes of redeeming myself from my past 'mistakes.'

Then I asked myself this question: HOW would I actually know that I finally 'have' a healthy self-esteem? Would I need to take a special self-esteem evaluating test? And what would be a minimum passing score? I had a hunch that there might be a quiet large percentage of the population being as confused about this entire self-esteem development process as I was.

How does self-esteem tie up with creativity? Much like intuition, creative process relies on us following our Inner Guidance System, IGS. And in both instances, intuition and creativity, we have a choice to make. Are we going to follow and acknowledge this still, small voice inside that invites us to discover an unknown part of ourselves through our creative endeavors? Or will the ego's insecurity-driven narrative take the best of us?

I am currently working on a mixed-media piece titled 'Grow' and somehow it has very little to do with the awakening of a new season, though that was my initial inspiration. I keep finding myself at, what I call, a Power Point, a place where I can choose to follow a very rigid voice of the ego's insistence on the 'perfection' of colors and design (as though such model even exists), or I can honor an inner, spontaneous urge to pour bright paint all over the canvas. And herein lays the power of decision, would I choose a forceful bully that, allegedly, has a ready-made recipe for 'perfect' art making? Or, will I embrace a gentle inkling inviting me to something fun and playful that has a potential to carry me onto the new waters of my creative self-expression? If I only let it.

This is how I know that my self-esteem has grown, just like my artwork. I begin by turning away from the bully and I turn inward instead. I delight in the surprise of design and juxtaposition of colors. I marvel at the multiplicity and depth of layers. I believe my self-esteem is not measured, but expressed. I see it in my artwork and suddenly I begin to remember WHO I AM.

So, which one comes first, self-esteem or creative expression? In my personal experience, it seems to be a dichotomy only on the surface. You need a bit to self-esteem to follow your creative urges and you will recognize your self-worth in your creative expressions. Bottom line, self-esteem and creative process begins and ends within you. After years of conducting my own investigation, I finally rest my case, self-esteem is an inside job and creativity is how we express our Truth… •

© 2009 Tatiana Kuzyk. All rights reserved.

Tatiana KuzykTatiana Kuzyk is an intuitive artist, writer, and a spiritual teacher. Tatiana's personal prescription for a so called 'creative blockage' is a complete surrender to the Sacredness of the mysteries of one's Creative Process. More »