101 things about me

Thursday, 5 June 2008

The roller coaster life of the budding artist...

Do you believe I am nearing the end of my Arts course? I have barely posted about it, but I must tell you it has been amazing. I feel like a new person. As hoped, it has been an intense introduction to fine arts and given me a chance to immerse myself into creativity. I have been so lucky and feel so privileged to be a part of such an amazing group. It has been a great taster, but as with many entrees it has left me wanting more... looking forward to the next course.

I am already stressing about leaving the group, about keeping myself motivated, about whether I can continue my studies (if work will allow it and if I can afford it) and about returning to full time work in the meantime.

I have learned a lot and grown a lot, and I have loved the course - a lot. I have been challenged continually. Most of all, I have been surprised to find that the course has been as much about the mental journey as the development of skills.

My inner critic has become my constant companion.

I’m good, I’m bad. I’m committed, I should be committed. I have progressed, I have regressed. I am competent, I am incompetent. I have talent, I have no talent. I have high expectations, I have low expectations. I am overwhelmed, I am underwhelmed. I am confident, I lack confidence. I’m positive, I’m negative. I have ideas, too many ideas or too few ideas. I lack time and then when I have time, I waste time.

And while I know I shouldn’t, and I try not to, I see the quality and quantity of other people’s work and I can’t help but compare their work to my own and I feel overwhelmed. What am I doing? Who am I kidding? Why am I bothering!

Take lino and print making for example. I wanted this to ‘be my thing’. I love the graphic qualities of print making. I love the technique. I love the feel of the tools in my hands. I love the results. And yet, when I see fellow student's results - their detail and their imagination - I compare myself to them and I am inadequate. I paralyse myself into inactivity.

Self imposed pressure rests on my shoulders every time I pick up a pen, a paintbrush, a tool to carve lino. If it was someone else having these feelings of doubt, I would reassure them they were doing ok, to keep going. And yet I can’t seem to give myself the same freedom... the same reassurance. I am trying, trying, trying to shake off these self doubtss and focus on my own art and no-body else's, but it is a constant battle. It's like riding a roller coaster.

10 comments:

CurlyPops said...

I think sometimes you have to stop worrying and just go with the flow.....
Trust your creativity!

Lilli boo said...

Welcome to the world of being an artiste...No seriously you have just described in a nutshell the feelings I went through when I studied!
It's part of the journey of being creative wether art or design..it's more about you being hard on yourself then anyone else...Expectations need to be thrown away and it's hard not to compare..and eventually you won't trust me..I'm still learning.

little red hen said...

Oh my god... You have succinctly expressed the inner critic That dwells within my head... and the part about being paralyzed into inactivity is also so familiar. Then on top of that you have an idea, only to discover when you are half way through that someone else has had it too and said it oh so much better. Then there are times that you look at an exhibition and wonder where the inner critic of the artist was at that day... and then get cross for not giving it a go yourself!
Good luck!

Malcolm said...

Like they said Cinta, like they said...

JustRun said...

I think if you didn't feel all this, THAT would be the abnormal reaction.
Congratulations!

AnastasiaC said...

Congrats on the end of your course - now the fun begins huh?
guess we all have our inner critic...just be who you are whilst expressing yourself through your art and enjoy the process! have fun too!

BigCat said...

You have to wonder why we make it all so hard don't you. Where does the inner critic come from? How is it that we all seem to learn to be so full of self doubt?

Give yourself permission to be fantastic in all its glory and ugliness.

Jenaveve said...

What you've described in this post is something I think we can all relate to. I know I can! And yes, if it was someone else we would say 'Stop that! You are worthy!!'. But our inner critic is our harshest companion... the only way to get that little voice to just back off sometimes is to slow down your breathing, take a walk, and then just do something - anything - that your body wants you to, as opposed to what your brain wants you to. No instructions necessary.

Get distracted with music or do something spontaneous, just to show your inner critic who's boss. I've tried this... and it generally works for me!

Just go with it, then look back in a few months to see how it all panned out.

Congrats!

cloud9 said...

What you think about others' work is what someone is thinking about yours. Theirs looks so good to you because you weren't involved in the painful process of creating it and vice/versa. Never let the inner critic go, but don't be overwhelmed by her. She is what makes you strive to be better and that's not a bad thing! Keep up the good work, it looks great from here!

cloud9 said...

Oh, and thanks so much for adding me to your links, I shall return the favour right now!