When I find someone who’s not only creative but funny, well-organized, fun to work with, and smart, well: I beg and plead and whimper pathetically to get them to do guest posts for me. You can read Carolyn’s first one here. Today she shares more of her approach to making art, an approach that’s so sane and sensible it can’t help but make you take a deep breath and go, “Of course.”
The world has plenty of tragedies, pain, and suffering. Does it need more? Apparently I thought it did. I spent years and years adding to the struggle and angst when I pulled out my art supplies. I told myself the most horrible and defeating stories about why I was not good enough to create. I berated myself for not making a perfect canvas with the first layer of paint. I felt guilty I was wasting the paint by needing a second layer. Not rocket science to figure out why I didn’t feel creative.
Thankfully, I am a child of the 80‘s and Twisted Sister came to my rescue. Yes, I was singing “We’re Not Gonna Take It” at that critical voice in my head. It didn’t matter if I was off key and really shouting instead of singing. I had had enough of this creative oppression.
That is what snapped me out of that insanity and gave me a new attitude toward my art. Now I have the attitude of a sarcastic teenager towards that critical voice whenever it shows up.
Critical Voice: This doesn’t look like anything good.
Sarcastic Teenager: I didn’t realize this was commissioned piece of art for Buckingham Palace. Oh, wait. It’s not. This is scrap cardboard.
Critical Voice: This woman is not right. Her arm is too long. Her head is too big. She doesn’t have a neck.
Sarcastic Teenager: Am I Leonardo DaVinci? Am I making a medical reference of the human figure? It’s a piece of cheap notebook paper with leftover paint.
You can see this develop layer by layer here
Critical Voice: I don’t think what you are writing on your journal page is meaningful and life altering.
Sarcastic Teenager: I am not writing The Magna Carta. It is an art journal page where I am getting out some feelings.
You can see the step by step progression of this page here
Critical Voice: You did not match the colors on the scrap paper you used to start this art journal page perfectly. And you can still see the edges of the paper.
Sarcastic Teenager: Hello? Scrap piece of paper. Do you think it is a monumental secret of national security that it is just glued on there?
I learned when I hear those ugly thoughts that squash my creativity to just let my sarcastic inner teenager out. My teenage years were training so I could handle this critical inner voice.
Ricë is the author of Living the Creative Life, Creative Time and Space, and Destination Creativity. She also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.
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