Since she was three years old, Sharon Dowell knew that she wanted to be an artist. It seemed like an odd choice for the daughter of a safety chemical engineer. But she’s built an amazing career that she loves and deeply enjoys.
But there’s a shadow side to Dowell’s success.
“I’ve been dealing with anxiety my whole life,” confessed Dowell. “It’s my secret.”
Quoting Winston Churchill, Dowell said the panic attacks are like a black dog that attacks suddenly out of the blue.
According to studies, 15-20% of the U.S. population are HSPs (highly sensitive persons), and Dowell is herself an HSP. Sometimes things are magnified in the most magnificent way. Everything about the moment is pure bliss. Often making usually overlooked things really inspiring.
“These overlooked things have really inspired my art,” said Dowell. How has she channeled that anxiety and high-sensitivity in a positive way? She says in three ways:
1) Through Empowerment — Transforming negatives into positives.
2) Using Art as Therapy — “Creating is its own form of meditation.” That’s called “being in the zone,” a meditative state. Becoming comfortably lost in the act of creation.
3) Fuel for Creativity — When making art, Dowell says she is constantly making choices. “What do I cover up? What do I leave bare?”
“The anxiety comes from the same place that my sensitivity comes from, which is what allows me to create and find solace. … So I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Liveblog written by Steve Knight