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?


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

Do It Now – Foil the Inner Critic

Do It Now – Foil the Inner Critic

There’s been a lot of road work in the neighborhood; lots of large metal sheets covering the plumbing underneath. I pass by one with a turquoise paint splotch and the color catches my attention. I stop and stare. There’s already an obvious eye, that’s promising. It would need another one, something kind of big, the little seeds in my purse aren’t going to get the job done. I glance around but don’t see anything useful. I’m in a hurry to get to work. It doesn’t matter. I don’t need this face.

A few feet later I come across a chain and hook, probably used to lift and move those slabs. Not this again. I don’t have time to monkey around with a cumbersome object and I already learned my lesson about taking stuff like this home. I’m not assuming responsibility for the next two years. I walk on.

Wait! It hits me. The hook could be the eye and the chain could be the nose for that splotch. Okay. You win, imagination. I’m turning around and doing this.

The lesson from the two year bike chain saga (chronicled in the Bags of Crap Series which you can find on my home page) is that you need to act on opportunity right when it first walks through the door. What you do, gets done, what you don’t do fades like fog on a hot day or becomes a big headache. I’ve trained myself to get to it and get to it quickly. No over thinking, just get her done.

Besides the lack of nagging dissatisfaction that missed opportunity often creates, I usually get something really unexpected from acting quickly. I most certainly didn’t pre-visualize this anxious fellow. The hustle forces me to bench my inner critic. No time to consult him. He’s such a drag anyway. He only approves of things the world has already vetted, meaning, he only likes what other people like. Too much originality makes him nervous and then he starts chattering away in my ear, blowing my confidence. For example, he might say, that hook doesn’t look like an eye to me. What’s going on with the bottom of the nose, there’s no shape there. Too bad you don’t have any darker sticks. A shame you threw them all away when you were cleaning out your bags.

Stop! This is not helpful!

Is this a portrait of him? I think it is! He doesn’t seem to like it. Too bad. Go away if you don’t want your picture taken. No one invited you on this walk anyway.

That’s mean. I am sorry. Let’s be friends. Why don’t you enjoy the stroll and help me out when I get home and we’re trying to select the best picture to post. You’ll be good at that.

Why is that critical people are always the first ones to get there feelings hurt? I could ask myself if I really cared to hear the answer. Moving on! Gotta get to work.

I didn’t leave this face in place, not good for car tires. I put the chain on some road work related stuff so it could be retrieved. You’re welcome LADWP and thanks so much for keeping everything in good working order!