According to Merriam Webster’s a shapeshifter is “one who able to change form or identity at will.” Global stories, myths, folklore and faerie tales tell of humans, gods, animals and otherworldly beings who possessed the ability to change form in the blink of an eye. The idea of shapeshifting has captured the imagination of artists, writers, musicians, dancers and dreamers of all walks of life. The shapeshifter has been depicted in the Neolithic caves of Trois Freres in France and enjoyed by modern video game players and science fiction movies. However, the shapeshifter does not exist soley in the world of fantasy as many religions hold beliefs in shapeshifting and the ability of shaman, healer, priest or priestess to transform themselves or others in their sacred rites. On a material level, an artist creates a painting, a sculptor takes a piece of rock and shapeshifts it to a carving. The very process of creativity itself involves shapeshifting.
I see shapeshifting as a metaphor for the process every person engages in during personal development, creativity and self exploration. Therefore, I regard shapeshifting as natural to all of us in the ways we seek to change ourselves in everyday practical levels. Examples of this transformation to another shape is seen in people who courageously take a new vocation in life, overcome blockages, flow gracefully with their changing emotions from places of grief to joy, possess open-mindedness and the ability to perceive situations from different angles and unique individuals who are not restricted by societal stereotypes. Even the very process of time and age demonstrate the process of shapeshifting. You have changed shape from zygote, to baby, to child, to adolescent, to adult and you will continue to shapeshift. Every day of our lives, we grow and change and cannot stop the march of time and our own metamorphosis.
Shapeshifting Studios is in its infant stage of life. I hope to see the studio grow and manifest as a location outside of the web and into the real world with a house, a studio, a garden, a workshop area, all of its own. A place where people can share their gifts with others to create, heal and transform lives. Until then, Shapeshifting Studios exists in this blog, in my work and in small offices and studios in Toronto and surrounding areas.
We have the power to transform and to heal our lives.
In that way we are all shapeshifters.
Shapeshifter: Pastel and pencil
By Susan Seddon Boulet