I painted ‘My inner critic is no expert’ as a reminder : )
There are days when we are so critical of ourselves… days when we think we can’t or we try but things don’t go well and so we decide we won’t… days when the little things overwhelm us and the bigger picture is nowhere to be seen.
Even if they are few and far between, these days still lurk. They return time and time again. Maybe I’ve just painted* the best thing I’ve ever painted and I feel on top of the world. I move on to the next one and nothing goes right. But why? Yesterday it was easy. Yesterday was a joy. Yesterday I even felt like an artist.
Mark Romer famously referred to this as part of The Creative Process and Danny Gregory has devoted an entire book to the subject (‘Shut Your Monkey’). Yes, I’m a big fan of laughing at our inner critic. We do not ~ repeat NOT ~ have to take them seriously.
Okay, sometimes it’s easier said than done. But worthwhile things are very rarely easy. And creating art, no matter what anyone says, is most definitely worthwhile.
* feel free to substitute any creative activity you enjoy for “painted”
A Rose By Any Other Name — acrylic on canvas, 250 x 250 mm, 2019. Available.
“God bless our contradictions, those parts of us which seem out of character. Let us be boldly and gladly out of character. Let us be creatures of paradox and variety: creatures of contrast; of light and shade: creatures of faith. God be our constant. Let us step out of character into the unknown, to struggle and love and do what we will. Amen.”
‘A Note on God’ by Michael Leunig
Way back in December 2009, I reinvented myself and became an artist. It has taken quite a bit of practice to be able to say that without giggling or feeling self-conscious. Some days I revert to describing myself as a painter or a graphic designer, but the good days find me happy to tell it like it is. I still remember discovering Danny Gregory’s book The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are ~ I bought a journal and a nice black ink pen and have never looked back. Well, obviously I’m looking back now… but you know what I mean.
My Top Nine six-word stories ~ my favourites selected from a grand total of 134 word+art posts created last year for Instagram which, in turn, came from 365 stories created using the Page Flutter word prompts. For those who may be interested, I’ve gathered all of my word+art stories into a collection on Pinterest.
What a fantastic and rewarding challenge this has been! And even though I won’t be carrying on with a daily writing challenge in 2019, I do plan to make good use of my six-word stories. But more about that in my next post : )