Last week I decided to do it…took another leap into the giving up some of my “not good enough” syndrome.
I carefully trimmed two pencil sketches from my book, bought two nice frames and sent them off to a friend…
During the summer of ’97 I found myself supervising a field crew in a remote work station. One of the women was teaching herself to use watercolors. I was fascinated. I did some sketching as a teen, but was told pretty often that while it was good, I would never be an “artist”. Not good enough.
I bought it. Hook, line and sinker. Looking back…interestingly enough, I must not have believed all of it…my sketch book *always* found a way into the bookshelf of where ever I landed. Even if I didn’t use it for many years.
In ’99 I asked for the nature drawing book she had from my children for Mothers Day. And they found it…out of print and used but it was what I wanted *g*. Bought myself some pencils and began again. I used the exercises primarily as a tool for honing the other side of my brain. Believing of course I would never be *good enough*, but at the same time acknowledging the exercises have great utility in forcing the other side of my brain to do some work. It quickly became both a way to get out of my head, and a sharpening of sorts…..looking both deeper and simpler at the world around me. Learning to trust eye-to-hand without my brain getting in the way…I enjoy it.
I never let my husband see what I was doing. It was private. PRIVATE. Shame. SHAME. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Can you hear that shit echoing around in my head? There is one and only one person who has seen my journals and my sketchbooks.
When I was cleaning up last week and shelving my books, my sketchbooks came out of a box. I had the overwhelming urge to do something with them. To share. To part with…gift..something I created. And it’s not just that. The two I framed and sent along….well, I always liked them the best. I am pleased with them. I’m *proud* of what I created.
Wow, what a concept.
I think it takes a lot of personal courage to really believe our creativity has *worth*. Of putting it “out there” and subject to criticism. Criticism is based on the lack of our own self worth and individual beliefs that although we want to….we believe we can’t. So we actively level “not good enough” at the artist, whether it’s from someone else’s, I’m not good enough so you can’t be either, OR our own. We need to get over our own preconceived notions of 1) how we think it should look, 2) how we want it to look, 3) how others should see it, and 4) if they like it or not. Wading through it all takes courage to leave oneself open and vulnerable.
Notice I said “criticism” instead of “critique”. Critique is an art in itself. It’s support for the artist and the creative process.
I do believe that each one of us is uniquely creative. We need to find ways to work with it. To hone it. To nurture it. Doesn’t matter if anyone *likes* it. It does matter that we acknowledge our individual creativity.
Yeah I finally have some courage about it…..