Thursday, May 29, 2014
Crushing the Inner Critic - UNEDITED
Initially, I had many, MANY problems with my inner critic. When I started with mixed media art around 2000, I hid my creations away. Having been involved with outsider art and the zine scene prior to this and even earlier, after taking rigid, structured oil painting study, my inner critic (no, I won't capitalize the words "inner critic" since I will not give it power) told me that all of my work that wasn't done in oils, on massive canvasses were little more than offal. Truth, I loved it. The swirls of watercolors, gluing down the detritus of the day, acrylics, stamps, sketches that grew into so much, etc., more gave me insane pleasure. Still my inner critic growled, huffed and screeched at me to stop making messes and to get down to real work. I started researching. After keeping morgues of items and sketches to later use in 'art' I began to see the new "art journal" movement as a way to express myself and to at least please me, even if I never produced another 'work' of art. I was actually blocked at creating 'art' because of the critic. Two things transpired to overcome the critic: the joy I found in the work I was doing and an exhibit given by my state museum on "Art Journals". Between these two things, I felt validated and could tell my critic to go hang itself...I was making art. Since I worked in both my journal and on canvas (rarely seen at that time) I was relatively unknown except to a few friends and even then, I didn't share most of my work with my best friend. Still shamed. BUT...I encouraged friends to get into this exciting art field of mixed media since it didn't require you to be conservatively trained and it was self-expression and self-love all rolled into one. I've seen fads and trends come and go, but the BHGs I drew (big headed girls), the sketchily scratched out landscapes, the lists, and the marvelous plethora of art supplies all inspired me to keep going, keep trudging, keep making good, deliciously rich STUFF. Finally, after years of struggling with "it's not good enough, you know" I revealed my work to others and the response has been amazing. I started taking life drawing classes and researching out-of-copyright books on art techniques - all crushing the inner critic more and more. Keep growing, take classes, study, PLAY...all will smash the inner critic. Do what I did, search for the smallest joy in your work and take notice of how tremendous the field has become! Crush your critic with YouTube vids and working with awesome teachers like Tam. Practice, practice, practice what you love and want to do and most of all, be kind to yourself and your art. It IS art. Art is the ultimate self-expression and take great joy in sharing what you do. Connect with others and never stop learning! Study all you can, research, dream and grow. No inner critic can survive in such well-cared for fields of growing, glorious ART!