the inner critic

Having got to the end of the week and looking back over what it was, it is nice to see some progress. I’ve been thinking about what art making is actually about. It seems to me that a lot of what it’s about is being comfortable with yourself and how you make art; or else being so compelled by having to make art or get a message communicated that you ignore the feelings of insecurity and  do it anyway.

Fruit drawings in arcframe app

There are a lot things written about the inner critic – those thoughts you have about your work that make you hesitate to do something. Whilst it is not fun, It encourages me that I am not the only one who deals with this. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to ignore these thoughts is to just get on with it – the art making, the writing, the exercise, music making. Work out ways to do a little bit often which will hopefully lead to the bigger picture.

Having made this conclusion I decided the only way to deal with my inner critic was to develop a challenge to help me with that little and often practice. I gathered a collection of favourite objects that I thought would be good to draw everyday for a month. And promptly sat down to draw one of them.

The conversation went something like this:

Me “Love that little pot. Great geometric shape. Shouldn’t be too difficult to start with.”

Inner critic “That is shocking. You are terrible at perspective. What were you thinking?”

Me “Yep. All too hard”

End drawing.

So, at hurdle 1, I’m tripped up by the inner critic. Humph. When I look back at the drawing now I don’t think it’s too bad. Actually I think it’s got some character. And I learned stuff! – Yes my perspective needs work, and it was a great excuse to experiment with light and shade without being too precious. I suppose you’d like to see it?

Little pot drawing

Anyway, having decided that perhaps the challenge I had set myself was somewhat unrealistic (although I think I will come back to it at some stage) I was very pleased when I discovered the new Sketchbook Challenge theme for May. Fruit and Veggies. Love it. Love still life. Love that it is accessible and fun. As you can see, it inspired me. The inner critic went to sleep somewhere along the line and here’s what’s happened so far.

Apple with reflection
Top view of apple
Peeling a mandarin

The great thing with such drawings and challenges is that the inner critic can be laid to rest because these little sketches are seemingly unimportant. They are a place to work stuff out – I guess like journal writing. And yet, even though small, they do play a significant part in an artist’s development of both skill and confidence.

Little and often. Just now, that is it for me. How about you? What are you doing to overcome the inner critic? I would love to hear about it and encourage you in your ventures.

And here’s something else that inspired me this week, a link to an encouraging blog – Arteyecandy – about not giving up what you do. Certainly lifted me out of ‘that place’. I love what Rachelle does and the video of Suzi Blu at the end is good fun encouragement.  JP

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