Have you ever completed something and suddenly got the feeling that it didn’t live up to your expectations? That it’s not great or anything worth bragging about, or that you just plain right suck? Yet you find yourself wondering where these thoughts came from because you were really excited about your idea and thought it was going well but yet upon completion you feel the exact opposite about it? Well that’s because your inner critic is doing all the talking and well…critiquing.
Lately I have felt really uninspired and kinda in a rut with my art, and surprise surprise Libby is doing quite a bit of talking. Oh sorry have I not introduced you? Libby is my inner critic who is pretty convinced that my self taught ways are just that of a five year old. Yeah I know, harsh right? I don’t know who she thinks she is deciding to just be very vocal all of a sudden after a year of starting my painting hobby.
To be honest I haven’t really dealt with perfectionism, fear, artist block, or my inner critic limiting myself to this extent before. I think that’s because I just decided to start painting to see what happened. I was painting for me, just as a hobby to fill my free time. Don’t get me wrong I still am but I think the idea of me actually being a bit more serious in putting my work out there has freaked me out. I’m a self taught artist with really no technique behind my craft, to be honest I just pick out colors and paint. No strategy, no idea what I’m doing, I just paint. I never know what I’m going to end up with and I kind of like it that way.
Although, I think the main reason why Libby feels like she can be very vocal right now is because I’m pretty stressed. This week I started my transition into my new role at my day job and even thought that is a major victory for me, it’s also left me exhausted and incredibly stressed. So the idea of picking up a paint brush sounds like you are asking to participate in a marathon… I know dramatic right? But regardless it just straight up isn’t going to happen. Instead I’ve been opting for binging Friends on Netflix and reading my new book (p.s. a blog post will be up about it once I’m done). This combo of feeling in a rut, being exhausted, and stressed has made art feel like chore and I just don’t have the energy to force myself to paint something especially when I know I won’t like the end result.
On a positive note, I’ve thought of some new things to paint… realistic painting ideas… which actually terrifies me because realism paintings are not my strong suit but I’m up for the challenge. I actually got a ton of canvases at Michael’s today (I’m writing this on Thursday night) because they were 50% off (SCORE!) so I’m pretty excited about that. I think it’s time Libby went on a tropical vacation and completely forgets about me and my art for a bit. I can’t say forever because who am I kidding everyone gets in a little self doubt/uninspired rut once in a while, especially since stress doesn’t just disappear forever either; I find they come in a pair. So I guess what I want to say is even though I love trying new things (especially art things) without any knowledge or idea what I’m doing (you should try it with no expectations someday it’s really fun) I too also find my inner critic limiting me from time to time. We all do but I think the key is to not let it limit you forever. It’s been a great two weeks Libby (HA no not really) but I think it’s time for me to get back to painting almost every night. Have a great time in Hawaii and don’t feel the need to send me a postcard *wink!* Now I want you to go tell your inner critics to take a vacation and keep trying your creative ideas.
p.s. if you are wondering why I named my inner critic Libby it’s because that was a big contender for my name. I’m glad my parents went with Allison (well actually Allie, deciding to call me Allie on early on was a great idea!)