January 24, 2018
Dear Allyson

Since I graduated art school in Scotland, I've struggled to balance work & art. I have creative practice-streaks and have even gotten some art out into the world, But, for the past seven years I’ve been denying my creative self and feeling guilty.

This past summer I moved to Sweden with my wife and one year old son to be closer to nature and find the balance between I've craved. Surprisingly, despite having a beautiful house in the forest, more time with my wife, plenty of free time to paint and a safe and nourishing environment for my son, I became increasingly depressed.

Listening to your conversation with Duncan Trussell, I realize that this depression and profound sadness is the result of this guilt -- having time and space to face the creative self that I've largely ignored and kept locked in the dark these recent years. Fortunately, the worst is over. Becoming aware of the source of my guilt and ill feeling, I've begun to make art again. I've discovered that creative block stems from a fear of beginning again and confronting the neglected creative self. It is enormously healing to do so.

Attached is an image of a painting I've started since listening to you. It's the oldest church in Sweden.

Best wishes to you all and good luck with CoSM!

Neil Ogg
Ask Allyson Image
Neil Ogg
Dear Neil,

Thank you so much for writing with wonderful news of your recovery into a creative life! With a small person in your life noticing everything you do, pursuing your art will send the message of how important it is to embed creativity into every day. Denying that energetic flow can surely be a health factor of sadness and disappointment that lives in our subconscious, affecting our well-being and positive sense of self.

Looking at your painting of the oldest church in Sweden, it appears that your life as an artist has taken off! Look forward to seeing how it unfolds. Now that you have found your quietude, find the others. Having spiritual creative friends with whom you can share your work can offer feedback and encouragement on your art making path. Alex & I would love to be considered among those friends.


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