Saturday - 19 09 2020

Dancing polka

Polka dancing with the critic

Are you also sometimes like being struck by the inner voices commenting on your picture?

The inner voices are especially loud when we learn a new skill.

We leave safe terrain when we start to put on paper what was previously only in our mind.

For example, when we draw a picture, all the good and bad evaluations that we have absorbed in school or education are awakened.

Figurative drawing is a prime example of what really makes the critic work at his best.

If you also have such a mean critic in you, I invite you to write down his derogatory remarks in the original language, word for word. Sometimes it sounds like this to me (so you can look directly into my brain):

I paint a landscape and hear these voices in my head:

Why do you still paint so traditionally? Landscape is out.

That is too naturalistic.

You only do it because you can’t draw.

It’s boring and outdated.

The way you paint is totally childish. Nobody wants that.

And now you’ve studied art for it. That’s really not art.

What do you do when you hear this tirade of evaluations while painting and feel crushed by the sarcasm of these inner voices?

Painting is also a mind game.

Painting also takes place in the mind.

The head is our control center and through our consciousness we have “access” to the circuits.

Only the practice of mindfulness and neutrality helps against the critic.

As soon as you engage in a dance with him, you have lost. I can say this from bitter experience.

Twenty-five years ago, shortly after I graduated from the art academy, I gave up art.

I gave it up because I had listened too long to my inner critic, who I still considered my objective mind at the time.

I had begun to believe him.

Unfortunately, there was no one who would have believed in me instead of me.

Pull the emergency brake before he pulls you “into the abyss”.

Don’t get involved in a discussion.

At best answer him with a succinct “So what?

These two words work wonders.

And if you’re toddling around alone,  join a group of people who will back you up when you’re dancing the polka with your critic.

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