Is our culture’s obsession with The Selfie causing a generation of narcissists? Or is it simply the modern-day sign that we humans have always desired looking ourselves in the eye?
If you look at photographs from beginning of photography, you’ll see taking photos of oneself has often been a subject of choice. And what about the self-portraits of artists through the ages? What about the writers who publish their journals ala May Sarton? Is The Memoir a Selfie? Why are we called to explore our own story in a variety of ways and mediums?
How does self-portraiture open our eyes to our beauty and our flaws? Is all the “navel-gazing” of self-help and self-discovery and good old therapy pure silliness or a truly valuable way to grow as a human? How does it heal us?
How does exploring who we are at heart open us to creating from a space of realness and vulnerability? How does the brave task of self-refection and self-evaluation allow us to grow as creative beings as well as human beings? Does diving into self-exploration make us better makers, partners, parents, and lovers?
Is self-care selfish? Is self-care critical to being healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally? How does caring for ourselves – or letting self-care fall to the wayside – impact us as makers?
What happens when we completely re-invent ourselves? What is the path to destroy old versions of ourselves and emerge from the fire like a Phoenix? What does that do for us as artists, writers, and makers?
Is the desire to understand who we are and how we tick at the heart of everything we create?
“I believe I know the only cure, which is to make one’s center of life inside of one’s self, not selfishly or excludingly, but with a kind of unassailable serenity—to decorate one’s inner house so richly that one is content there, glad to welcome anyone who wants to come and stay, but happy all the same when one is inevitably alone.”
― Edith Wharton
Welcome to the first issue of 2018 – Issue #9: Selfie.
When we were choosing themes for Modern Creative Life, I thought that choosing “Selfie” was just the right subject to dive into as we enter 2018 and kick off our third year. In what ways can all sides of the “self-ie” allows us to connect with our art, meet our deepest needs for creation, and honor our love of beauty?
What does it mean to examine one’s self? Can self-portraits – and all versions of that such as memoir, personal essays, and such – heal us and help us grow as creatives? How do we make the space for blank canvases and blank pages if we ignore our need to create? Can we expect to fill those pages and canvases with our creations if we dive deeper into who we are?
Part of living a creative life is the understanding that we must refill our own wells in some way on a regular basis, otherwise, we find ourselves resentful of our own lives. Without the time or space to pursue our creative ways, we will burn out. Our souls demand that we uphold the responsibility of using our gifts. So how does looking at ourselves help us or hurt us?
This what we are exploring in this issue.
In this issue, you’ll get a peek into the daily lives of other creative folk in our Studio Tours and Typical Tuesday series, and meet people walking fascinating creative pathways in Conversations Over Coffee. With photos and fiction, poetry and essays, as well as all kind of enlightenment, help each of us find a deeper understanding into all the ways in which you create.
As always our mission at Modern Creative Life is to honor the pursuit and practice of joyful creativity. We believe that the creative arts enrich our everyday living, enhance our environment, create lasting connections, and sustain our souls. Please join us as we look to other creatives for ways in which they nurture and tend their own creative life so that they regularly find their process – and lives – feeling nourished instead of parched.
As we share the stories of other makers, use their experiences to illuminate your path into your own Modern Creative Life.
What stories might you have to share with the world? Share your self-e tales with us! Don’t be afraid for a deep dive into all sides of self as a way to not just share your story, but serve as an example or others to learn from and get a sense of permission to take time to restore their own hearts and minds. We are open to single contributions as well as new regular contributors. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.