From my journal - March 2009
I was looking around at my studio - just different sections and imagining it as a photograph. A thought popped in my head:
"If someone else put that picture on their blog (or in a book) I would wish mine looked so good."
That's when I realized how beautiful my studio is and how it so reflects my taste. I never/rarely ever give myself enough credit! That's part of the problem!
It's a simple trick of the mind: Take yourself out of the question. When it's done with full commitment, it provides instant gratification!
Honestly, that's what's helped me the most. When I finish a piece of art (or semi-finish), the first thing I do is say these exact words to myself: "If someone else posted a picture of this on their blog, what would I think?" My answer is always something like, "I'd think it was beautiful. I'd love it. I'd wish I'd done it." When "me" isn't in it, I can look at something more honestly, more compassionately, more openly. My inner critic doesn't tear down other people's work. It isn't even present in the situation. So, all that's left is my appreciation for beautiful art! It just so happens that it's my art that I'm appreciating! YAY!
I've been doing this for about a year. Each time I asked myself that question and received the positive feedback, I was able to continue making more art. With each painting, I logged more practice time which in turn helped me to learn and grow. I suppose what it really gave me is what all beginning artists need: SPACE and TIME. (or as my friend, Angelique would say, Grace and Space ;) )
The Space of creating without an inner critic on your back allows you to:
~ create without
- useless negative judgment
- perfectionism ruining your chances of progress
- old tapes running in your head
- the fear of it not being 'right' or, worse, of it being plain old WRONG!
~ create with
- a gentle heart, mind, body, soul
- a kind attitude toward yourself, which we often reserve for others
Here's the catch 22: If I wasn't happy with something I created, I may give up instead of pressing through (hi Sandy ;) ). If I don't press through and practice, I cannot get any better.
Space and Time are friends of practicing, learning, growing.
As time passed and I kept up with this 'mind-game', my confidence has grown and I don't have to 'trick' myself as often. I am getting better, confidence wise and art wise, because I've given myself the gift of acknowledging what I've done as worthy which helps me to keep going. If I've created something beautiful once, I can do it again and again and again and again and again........
So can you!