Arrested by the Art Police?By
“Your Honor, I’d like to submit the following bad drawings as evidence that the defendant has misled her family and friends by describing herself as creative, calling herself an artist and complaining she has no time to make anything.
As you can see, why does she need time to make anything when she makes crap like this?”
“Why indeed, Counselor. Jurors, please look carefully at all the bad art and reach your worst conclusions.”
“Your Honor, we find the defendant,………. long pause………., ‘Not Talented’.”
“Thank you for your service, the jury is excused. Bailiff, take the defendant to be arraigned, and measure her up for a hideous orange jump suit. I’m glad we caught her when we did.”
You’re Not on Trial
Your creative life is not a trial where everybody and their mother is on the jury determining if you really are an artist or just a big-talking fraud who’s been implying she’s artistic since God knows when.
Your ‘bad’ work is not proof that you’re not talented. Otherwise, everyone would be indicted.
No longer torturing yourself by treating your artwork as evidence in a trial is an important step toward getting on your own side and getting serious about making things.
Since making bad stuff is unavoidable, stopping yourself from going through your own version of this courtroom drama isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.
But I know it’s hard to change your thinking pattern overnight.
So be gentle with yourself.
A Few Simple Steps
- Just increasing your awareness of your thought patterns is a game changer. Because we’re so used to our inner monologue, we often don’t even realize what we’re thinking anymore and just mistake it for reality. Realizing this isn’t true, even for a minute, is huge.
- Notice when the negative thinking starts. Before you even begin to create? In the icky middle of a piece or project, when nothing looks right?
- Notice how you feel physically when it’s happening. Does your chest tighten? Do you get butterflies? Where does the anxiety live in your body as a physical feeling? Stopping to experience the physical expressions of your emotions can go a long way toward quieting them.
- Give yourself permission. If this means you need to allow yourself to hide your work, throw it away or burn everything right after you make it, then so be it. Even if your rational brain thinks you’re being ridiculous, your fragile feelings need to know that even though they no longer rule the day (by stopping you from creating altogether), they still count and will be attended to.
- Experiment. Can you leave your ‘bad’ piece out in the open for an hour? A day? All the time? Don’t make yourself do something that shuts you down, but experiment with pushing at the edges of your comfort, and pay attention to the ramifications–because chances are, they won’t be any. The next time will be easier.
Building Creative Momentum
The only way to start making good stuff is to make stuff a lot–to maintain a creative momentum in your busy, everyday life. And if you’re making stuff a lot, chances are excellent that some of it’s ‘bad’. Or at least not what you intended.
It’s just about coming up with strategies for getting comfortable with that. Or, at least, less uncomfortable.
To help yourself keep making.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, one great way to keep yourself creating is to join me every week for the Creative Breakthroughs Collage Teleclasses.
Or even just one class, I’m not picky.
I’m absolutely convinced it can help free you up to build a wonderful creative momentum in your life and function as a real concrete support system–making it easier for you to commit to yourself and your creative dreams and goals.
And even if you feel a lot of angst about your creativity, I think you’ll even have some fun because it’s such a blast.
It’s okay to need help getting started again. It’s also okay to sign up even if you don’t feel ‘ready’.
You don’t need to be ready! All you need is a few supplies and a speaker phone.
At 12.00 a pop, what have you got to lose? You can sign up here.