Why I hid a White Silk Dress – A True Story

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What I’m about to tell you is not a pretty story. To be honest, I’ve never told this to anyone. But I think it’s time to share it. Because you might recognize parts of it as your own story.


In 2010 – when I was still convinced I was Most Definitely Not Creative – I visited the exhibition Wasted, created by Tomoko Mukaiyama.


Tomoko Mukaiyama is an amazing Dutch-Japanese pianist, performer and visual artist. In a large hall she created a cave-like environment with 12.000 white silk dresses. It felt like I entered heaven.


People immediately started to whisper, wide eyed with wonder, walking bare foot with their fingers wide spread so they could touch the fabric.The soft white material touched our skins like butterfly kisses.


It was true magic. 


When I exited the hall all women were asked to be part of a new art work. We had to leave our name and were given a white silk slip dress.  Our assignment: create something that will inspire Tomoko Mukaiyama’s next work.


Yes’, I said immediately ‘I would love to be part of this magic.’


I went to the table where Tomoko Mukaiyama stood with her assistants. She watched all the women hurdled around the table, looked me straight in the eye and said: “You will make something extraordinary.”


I walked home on Cloud Nine. The muses were wide awake. They sung me songs. They jumped over themselves with joy.


“Make a painting, Sleep in it, Make it dirty with your own blood, Tear it apart, Make a shrine, Roll through the mud, Make a movie…”


But within 15 minutes the other voices started to shout.


You can’t do that. Really, that’s not very original. Yes, that’s already been done. Seriously Esther. Have you gone mad. What will the real artists think!”


“Tomoko Mukaiyama thinks you’ll make something extraordinary. You can’t make just anything.”


“Oh my god! It has to be superb. You have to rock her world. Hell you have to rock THE world. Think woman think! Damn, make it Big, Bold and Beautiful.”


The monsters kicked me in the back, ponded on my head, hissed in my ears…


“You are Most Definitely Not an Artist. Don’t you think that was a little bit silly accepting that dress? You’re spoiling a assignment that has been given to you by someone who trusted you. You are not going to make anything… – you know that don’t you?”


Suddenly my whole body ached, my face felt numb. When I came home I hid the dress in shame. I hid it under a stack of old t-shirts. Goodbye White Fairy Virgin Dress.


Even though I didn’t see it, I knew it was there. I could hear it knocking on the inside of the door. Every time an email arrived,  asking me for my contribution: Dear Esther, where is your art work? We need it. – I froze. The horror of it all.


I wish I could tell you I made an meaningful artwork after all. But I didn’t. Sorry, no happy ending. Only a sad and very real tale of how I listened to the voices of Creative Fear and how I allowed them to trash my joyful Muses.


Because I didn’t had a clue back then. I had no idea my creativity is borderless. That we’re all Beautiful Creative Souls. That we really – Really – can do everything when we’ve got the right tools.


  • Would this happen again? No way!
  • Would I be scared? You betcha!
  • Would I bow and obey the voices of Creative Fear? Are you mad? Never again! 
  • Would I play small and live a Black and White life when there is full color? No, not in a Million Year.

I’ve learned how to lean into fear. I’ve learned how to choose joy over fear.  I’ve got the tools. And I’d like to teach you how to use them too.

I’ll come back to you soon (and to some of you a little bit earlier…)

Lots of love,



P.S. If you like to tell me your story, or if you want to speak to me in person hit reply and we have a Skype sessions, okay?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][ultimate_spacer height=”40″][vc_column_text]

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Esther de Charon

Esther de Charon de Saint Germain is the Business Doula and Soul Whisperer of brave female entrepreneurs who want success on their own terms Esther is the author of "The Wonderfully Weird Woman's Manual" a Brand Expert, certified Transformational Art Coach, Artist, Communication Consultant, Art historian, Huffington Post + Thrive Global Blogger with over 25 years experience in the field of branding, design, creativity and art. She lives with her 13-year-old son and husband on an old farm. She's also addicted to Jasmin Tea, Opera with seriously bad endings, Weird Art and Red Lipstick.

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