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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13 Creative Thought(s)

  1. I try not to let mine over rule my ability to keep moving on and forward. I see everything I do in art now as a learning process in progress. That way I can fall back on "I am new at this" and "I am just learning how to do this" etc. and feel okay about all my endeavors. Sure some will be better than others; and some people out there will like others and not some or all; and that's okay...I believe in being gentle with myself...then old EGO doesn't get trompped upon and the art continues to flow.
    It sure is too much fun to stop now anyway!

  2. Yes, one needs to let onesself go. I hold back all too often for fear of failure. That is a double whammy.

  3. I have stated on my blog that I can never "do anything" (artistically speaking) that would compare to the real thing! That is a foolish statement on my part because that really shouldn't be the goal anyway! Not being the exact sameness of the actual thing is what makes it art. Am is just babbling, or is this making sense? Anyway...even though I do not consider myself an artist in any way, shape or form, I still continue to create things...just for my own self. I am very selfish...all for my own self...LOLOL!!!

    You, on the other hand, are a wonderful artist!!! I am jealous!!! :)

    Hang loose...Julie

  4. Laure, beautiful writing and thinking about your work. Nice critique of your own painting and personality. I know what you mean, we are all often too hard on ourselves. I know I am. It is also hard for me to accept compliments on my work, instead of thanking the person or persons for what they have said. I try to work on that. Have a great weekend.

  5. OK, I promise to call the art police on you the next time the critic comes around. OK!

  6. Very encouraging post! I especially identified with your statement about being held hostage by perfectionism--how many times do I hold back trying something because I'm afraid of failing or looking silly? What a waste of time! We will never grow beyond our own limitations if we never try to go beyond them in the first place.

  7. Ok, here's what you do. Get that Pina Colada we were just talking about, then let the Critic talk. All you'll hear is "blah, blah, blah..." and you won't even care. Although, I suppose ear plugs will work too.

  8. Very well said. It is so easy to let the critic crush our spirit. I don't know how many times I've ended up 'blocked' because the work from my hands didnt measure up to my minds expectations. I'm trying to recognize that and push through it. My resolution this year is to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone to see where it takes me. It always helps to hear others have the same struggles.

  9. Mine gets out when I'm tired. But it passes and I've learned not to beat myself up over it anymore. Not being perfect means accepting that there will be times the critic gets out. I love your work. Have I said that lately?? :-)

  10. Don't let that critic get to you. I know easier said than done. How else are we to learn and grow if everything we created was perfect. I have learned (and still learning) to set pieces aside for days sometimes but not out of sight till the art guides show me what to do.

  11. Lol, I guess the wise woman came back! I spoke too soon on the post before.

  12. ...such a good post. You've helped me quiet my critic so much, but boy...does she ever like to yammer!

  13. Great post... I need to print it out and tape it to my easel!


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