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.