You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

My inner critic sucks. The epitome of never happy. You cannot please them. Every choice is wrong. Until this recent revelation, I thought they just had an extremely narrow definition of success. I didn’t realize how useless they were. I am glad I know. Let me tell you what they did in case yours is pulling the same boondoggle.

As mentioned in a recent post, I bought myself a new little hardback art journal. I am mostly making abstract grid patterns. It’s fun, relaxing and inspirational. The patterns are evolving rapidly and it’s super exciting to me. I thought it would be exciting to the inner critic too. I thought the main thing the inner critic was mad about was us not making enough art. They are always yapping away at me that I am wasting time, not completing projects, not drawing, not working harder. So, this explosion of art making that’s been going on was sure to be crowd pleaser. I was even expecting a pat on the back.

So I was making art the other evening, drawing in my book and I did a page, finished it pretty fast and felt I wanted to keep going so I did a second version, then I started a third. This is cool, theme and variation, exploration, not getting tired or bored. Well guess what my little turd of an inner critic starts to say: Hey, you only have about 1/4 of the book left, are you really going to use up your remaining pages on this? It’s not that good. You are going too fast, you should only make one a day. At this rate your book won’t last through July. It won’t last the summer. I thought it was called the Summer Fun Book. You already have too many books. You can’t blow through books this fast. What are you going to do with all these books when you have to move?

STOP!

Let me get this straight, I am bad if I don’t make art and I am bad if I make too much?

You are fired! I am firing you. You do not have the job anymore. I do not want you around. You suck.

Does anyone know a pleasant and supportive inner voice that needs a home. I am currently hiring.

Sidewalk Face 94

The Power of Artificial Constraints

The Power of Artificial Constraints

Two short stories and a lesson.

Story One. I like to drink coffee in the morning, and I like it hot, hotter than the coffee maker makes it. So, I put my mug in the microwave for an additional 20 second blast and then I race to grab as much silverware as I can out of the dish drain and try to put it all away before the buzzer goes off. If I’m not holding it when I hear the sound I win and if I am still holding it, I lose. Despite the absence of stakes, I feel a little upset if I don’t get it done in time. Functional!

Story Two. Sometime before 3rd grade I lived in a very hilly neighborhood with winding roads. I liked to tell myself I could only use the breaks on my bike two times while coming home. This ultimately resulted in a total wipe out that ruined my bike and left me bloody and limping. Commitment!

Lesson. Create artificial restraints in your art practice. Make some rules. The thing about rules is they have to be clear as day and non-negotiable. They do not have to make sense or be good. Even if they make no sense they will work. The other thing about rules is they have to be fun. Fun to YOU! Not a rule you wanted or hoped would be fun. No, that’s Monopoly, a long and stupid game that you don’t want to play. The rules absolutely, positively have to be FUN! Make a piece of art, you win.

If you make up weird little rules for yourself, please share. I would love to know I am not the only weirdo.

Sidewalk Face 784