Art is a shared experience. You express how you experience the world, sometimes abstractly, with your body, in color and in black and white. We share it with words. Creative non-fiction is just another way of shouting it out, of expressing who we are and sharing that experience. There is no shame in that, just as there is no shame in singing, in sculpting, in taking pictures.
Sadly, there is a great deal of collective shaming directed towards female artists. A stern “how dare you?” echoes all around. As women, there are a lot of expectations around taking care of others, holding ourselves back so that others can shine, and keeping quiet. So when we have the guts to say, “this is me,” it is often taken as narcissistic, egocentric or arrogant. We find ourselves stuck telling other people’s stories, or carving our own art down to fit a mold.
We at Yellow Arrow Publishing are tired of this. We strive to share who we are, to place our names among the poets, the playwrights, and the painters. We must share our voices, we must join this collective, so that our daughters and our nieces and the little neighbor girl up the street can know that her experience is valuable, too.
We allow women the space to be proud of their work and their lives and their stories. To share without fear of scorn or shame. There are so many women out there, doing amazing things that are extraordinary and absolutely ordinary, and have rich value all the same. We share these stories and add to that wondrous shared experience called art.