Dealing With A Critic

6:07 PM

Did you see it?!! Did you see the Critic in here? Can you believe the audacity??!! To just show up on my blog like that!!

Of course, the Critic was invited. 

I even held the door open....

In yesterday's post, I made the statement, "....I can't help but wonder if the time may have been better spent on a brand new attempt!" That, my friends, was the Critic talking, and is totally unacceptable! My husband mentioned my comment last night and said something on point about me not practicing what I preached. To which I responded that I was simply evaluating the work and I wasn't entirely certain that it had not been a wasted effort. 

As I moved through the evening, I realized that indeed, I had let the Critic loose. If you've taken an Imaginary Trip with me, you know that on all of the class blogs there is a statement at the very top of each class blog that says "Imperfection practiced and encouraged here." As a recovering perfectionist, I stand by those words. They enable me to get things done that would otherwise hold me hostage indefinitely as I'm not able to do them perfectly. 

But every once in a while, I still fall prey to the Critic's voice. This time, by passing judgement on a piece of work that didn't need to be judged. That was not the intent of the piece. It's a sketch, not a competition painting. As a sketch, it's fine. Is there room for improvement? Yes. There is room for improvement in every piece I've ever sketched regardless of how good I may have thought it was, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

You see, I believe that perfectionism is fear. It is the ego's weapon to keep us from setting ourselves up for hurt, harm, ridicule, embarrassment or any other undesirable result. Especially, if it's happened before. So our ego uses a reasonable, logical voice and we listen!! It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because too often decisions made from a place of fear are poor decisions, and we prove the ego right. 

Dealing with criticism–our own internal Critic, external, well-meant, hurtful, harmful, constructive, non-constructive, idiotic and down-right idiotic–is part and parcel of being an artist. It is necessary to learn to deal with all types of criticism. To learn to identify when it's harmful and how to make it useful. I'll be getting into that tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, if you see that Critic in here again, kindly ask it to LEAVE!!!

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