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Harnessing Your Personal Monsters with Christie Shinn

Harnessing Your Personal Monsters with Christie Shinn

It’s customary as humans to experience a variety of emotions and moods throughout our lifetime. In fact, most of us see numerous moods come and go daily. Whether these emotions are fueled via our own actions and thoughts, or the actions and thoughts of others, it’s understandably frustrating to go from one mood to another and witness your day begin its decline downhill.

Artist Christie Shinn has cracked the code when it comes to why we feel the way we do in any given moment, and it may not be what you expect.

In Personal Monsters, Shinn has created a compendium of not-so-cheery creatures to blame for our more delicate emotions, or for our more delicate enemies. Creatures like the Professional Mourner, for instance, that sees every little problem as the very end of the world. And the Inner Critic, that makes you look back and regret every decision you’ve ever made.

Depressus

Shinn’s creative monsters have gifted fans with a new perspective on their own mental health. To see depression as a monster that needs slaying with a little understanding and encouragement, and anxiety as a many-legged creature serving up negative thoughts and feelings truly puts a face to the feeling.

Dealing with others, whether they be friends, family, or otherwise, that have a tendency to put you down and make you feel small can be difficult, but Christie Shinn channeled their feelings into their art instead of letting themselves sink deeper. “I had dealt with and cut off ties to a bunch of extremely dysfunctional people that I had been friends with,” Shinn told Geek & Sundry. “I couldn’t believe my anger and rage at what they did, but here I was living it.”

two faced

Out of the many personal monsters Christie Shinn has included in her book, the type of personality they interact with the most tends to be of the two-faced variety. “I think it has to do with the fact that people are taught to be really passive-aggressive with their anger and negativity,” Shinn said. “So, those are the most common ways that people display them instead of addressing the actual source.”

The combination of self-analysis and the analysis of those around us in Personal Monsters makes this particular piece of work unique. Viewing our own feelings for ourselves in creature form, along with how we feel about others, makes the book that much more relatable.

To those who find solace in seeing themselves represented in her work, Shinn says, “I hated self-help books because they only offered part of the solution. We’re always compartmentalized as the ‘proper way’ of anger, stuffing it down to be an image of a ‘good person’,” following with, “It seems to be a vast release, and relief for their inner demons.”

You can find more of Christie Shinn’s work at HoraToraStudios.com, and be sure to keep up with their Los Angeles show schedule on Facebook.

Which personal monsters from Shinn’s book do you identify with the strongest? Has Personal Monsters inspired you to think of your own creatures? Share with us in the comments below, or find me on Twitter @bekahbabble!

Image Credits: Christie Shinn

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