Damsel, Hero, Artist, Judge

Imagine discovering a language that provided the words and understanding to describe your creative life to others, in new and provocative ways. Imagine other creatives speaking the language, too, and the camaraderie that could arise from these shared experiences.

This is what happened for me when I discovered the language of archetypes—symbolic patterns of behavior that all human beings share—documented by Swiss psychotherapist Carl Jung in modern times, but with roots in antiquity.

Other theorists and writers approached archetypes from a variety of perspectives, but it was the creative perspective that unlocked an understanding of archetypes for me. Who hasn’t encountered the Saboteur or the Judge in their studio? Or been stung by an offhand remark that dismissed work as being made by a Dilettante?

Additional study led to even greater excitement. I was learning a language that could describe the solitary time required to produce work with meaning. My Hermit was protecting me. 

And when work was going well, and time seemed to stand still? I could be quite sure my Child was riding shotgun, delightedly embracing the creation as it unfolded.

Sharing this language so that others could join me in speaking it has become a passion. Artists can recognize and describe themselves as artists but are often surprised to discover that they are also working with an Engineer, a Visionary, or an Advocate. These discoveries are satisfying, and frequently profound, because now there are words to express what was earlier inexpressible.

Damsel, Hero, Artist, Judge: Meditations on Archetypes and Creativity was six years in the writing. I studied archetypes for 20 years and started to teach them in 2007, but it was the commitment made in 2017 to write about a different archetype every month that finally manifested as this book. 

Zoie Holzknecht and Denise Osso—artists who work extensively with archetypes—agreed to share their work with readers. Their powerful and dramatic pieces tell stories of their own—evidence that the Storyteller was present to witness the creation.

Designer K. Wayne Harms proposed a theme representing the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. These became a secondary thread, winding through the text and expanding upon it, in addition to adding stunning visuals.

Damsel, Hero, Artist, Judge is a record of my experience of archetypes as creative inspiration, shared so that you, the reader, may also embrace the language and use it to deepen the experience of your own creative process. You are worth it.


Receive 20% off Damsel, Hero, Artist, Judge by Jane Dunnewold now through August 31 with coupon code: FANARCHETYPES


Jane Dunnewold is a freelance artist, writer, teacher, and the founder of the online Creative Strength Training community.

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