Inner Demons

This artistic project is named, Inner Demons. It is a mini self portrait project that is partially inspired by songs, partially by psychology and mostly by just that, demons. This is more of an artistic piece compared to my previous photography pieces. It has manipulated elements, but has taught me a lot about digital art and editing. My four loves; Art, Psychology, Photography and Music. We face our Inner Demons on a regular basis. They can come in many different shapes and forms.


I decided to include the before picture to see the growth of the piece too! Enjoy~






"I can’t drown my demons they know how to swim"


To be completely honest, I hate going out or going to parties. There was a point in my life that was all I did. The college norm in Wisconsin is to party/drink at least 3-4 days of the week. That is half of the week. For me it was a distraction at the time, and I thought it would mask/numb how I felt about certain things in my life. I wasn't sure if I was capable to pursue my passions, and I had many self doubts. But honestly it didn’t, all of those things escalated after a point and didn’t matter how much I drank or partied. My insecurities still broke through the surface and followed me around. It didn’t help that everyone around me was doing it too, the drinking culture here is and can be overwhelming. At the time I felt pressured into social norms, but not anymore. We all have our demons. I’ve become friends with mine. I will not become a subject to my self pity, doubts or insecurities. There are many other things in life I would rather be doing than drinking my life away, but to each their own. You can have and drink your poison. Alcohol is a drug. But I don’t need to do drugs, I am drugs.

The quote that inspired this piece and title, is originally from Frida Kahlo, who I admire greatly. She was a strong, intelligent, and creative Latina woman. The band Bring Me The Horizon utilized that quote in their song "Can You Feel My Heart" and that is the song that inspired my piece.





"I can hear the Sirens calling, but I cannot walk away"

This is the second piece my series Inner Demons. Emotions come in waves just like the earth’s actual tides. Something I love about myself is that I feel so deeply. However, all emotions have a particular power attached to them. Some have more weight than others, depending on the magnitude it is felt. It is important to acknowledge each and every emotion for what it is, let them come and go with the tide. However no emotion can bank or harbor for too long. It isn’t healthy to be overly sad for an extended period of time, just like it is toxic to be too negatively positive (yes that is a thing). There are many things in life that will tempt us, like the metaphorical siren. It isn’t going to be an attractive seductive woman that will bring chaos or ruin our lives, but most often ourselves. Our thoughts, comparisons, actions, and forms of self sabotage. Our minds can be our greatest and most lethal weapon. A double edged sword in a pirate fight. Our thoughts can create a literal hurricane within ourselves. We can convince ourselves that we aren’t capable of something long before ever even giving it a try. Have that be in school, our passions, love, jobs, sports. We begin to fall in this black hole of self doubt and pity. It isn’t a siren that will lead us to drown to death, it is ourselves. We become stressed, suffocated in a sense. We aren’t choking on water. We aren’t seeing a siren dragging us to the bottom of an ocean, we are seeing a reflection of ourself and projecting blame on to something else. This siren is toxic, and it mostly feeds off of our thoughts and perceptions. We can manifest so many things with just simply thinking. That’s pretty magical in my opinion. Don’t feed your demons. Come to an understanding of your insecurities and create a form of self awareness. Work towards changing your mindset. Self awareness is powerful.

The quote that inspired this piece and the title is from the song "A Sky Full of Song" by Florence + the Machine




"A Garden Grew Between Us"

The third piece to my Inner Demons series. Life is about balance, or that’s what we are always claiming. However when it comes to our perspectives, even though we always say balance is key, we still tend to live in blacks and whites. Dualistic thoughts is the correct term. We are taught to suppress our shadow and embrace our persona. But this would essentially be cutting out half of ourselves. As Carl Jung said, “I must also have a dark side if I am to be whole.” Why do we work so hard to suppress emotions, characteristics, and passions within ourselves to please others? We are toxically positive and we suppress our emotions simply because we are afraid of making others feel uncomfortable. Because the society we live in wants us to wear masks and all be in unison with eachother. Don’t you dare stray from that path~ otherwise If you are different by a smidge you are labeled a black sheep, an outsider, a weirdo, a rioter, or a rebel. As if any of those things are actually inherently bad. Not all qualities in the persona are good, just like not all qualities in the shadow are bad. However by embracing some of our darkest qualities, we allow room for growth and acceptance of them. We can begin to work on them and they won’t then proceed to come out in unhealthy ways. By suppressing them we are denying that they exist. To be in denial of who we are, how we feel, what/or who we love is extremely painful and in my opinion unhealthy. By over-glorifying qualities in our persona, we can come off as arrogant, unteachable, fake, and overly-nice (Passive aggressively nice). These qualities can turn into other forms of passive aggressive behaviors when in team with denying our counterparts. People say that we have an Angel on one shoulder and the Devil on the other. Metaphorically and for some literally. Our inner conscious, has naturally light and dark aspects to it. But one does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. Bringing it to the forefront of our mind. Unless you learn to face your own shadow, you will continue to see it in others. Projecting them onto them actually. The world outside of ourselves is merely a reflection of the world inside of us. Embrace that which defines you, every part wholly and indefinitely. Be true to yourself always. Let a garden grow between your lightest and darkest thoughts. Learn to love yourself in both settings. Be kind to yourself. No one is perfect.

The quote that inspired this piece and the title is from the song "You're Not You Anymore" by Counterparts





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Embrace That Which Defines You

Central Wisconsin     maureenashleyphotography@gmail.com     (715)-560-0233