Wednesday, August 08, 2007

At War with the Inner Critic

As much as I love the intricacies of planning: research; buying the elements; making lists and devising ideas my plans usually go awry before completion. In a piece of art this usually is a blessing, in all other areas of life this means many things left undone. My intentions are good, but how far can intentions get you?

One thing I always intend to do, but have only accomplished once is making handmade holiday cards for family and friends. Maybe if I start working on my idea now I will design and create a card people will treasure when they receive it in the mail in December. One of the problems with designing a holiday card is that my family and friends have diverse religious affiliations and I need to be sensitive regarding their beliefs. Do I do like that single successful year and do a nondenominational peace card? Or do I different cards with a similar footprint? I still prefer untraditional colors like pink and lime green or robin's egg blue and red for Christmas and turquoise and brown or aqua blue and sea glass green for Hanukkah. What about the other religions?

I look at old cards and such and see so much room for improvement in all I did and do. Yesterday at my monthly artist trading card (ATC) trade, I mentioned how in my recent packing up of my old studio I reviewed some of my ATC's and found them lacking in my opinion. I was not putting down my work so much as that I feel that in me I can do better...that I haven't reached some hidden potential I can only sense and haven't yet been able to exploit. In other words, I haven't found my artistic voice. All these years I have been fumbling around in the attempt to discover my authentic style and I have yet to find it. What I am making still isn't "right" and it doesn't feel entirely like me.

The same can be said for my creative writing. I constantly strive for the sense I have captured the ellusive truth and perhaps I begin anew too soon. I do know I struggle. In fact I struggle each time I write one of these entries as my inner critic finds more fault than good in what I do. If my inner critic had its way each entry would be a masterpiece and therefore never posted as I would be rewriting and revising the blasted thing everyday of my life to polish it until is gleamed like a jewel. Like a jewel it would be slick, cold and hard with no rough edges to make it interesting and human. When I post an entry it is actually a minor triumph for me of sincerity and honesty over a need for perfection. With any creative venture (actually most everything), I am working against my inner critic and my tendency to procrastinate (which I think is a mechanism to blindside my inner critic--I have not the luxury of time and must only do no matter the results).

So, dear reader, I return to my little battle and attempt to conqueror my inner critic long enough to create imperfect, but heartfelt holiday cards in time for the holidays.

P.S. I think I need to name my inner is about time we were on a first name basis. Any suggestions?

1 comment:

otr said...

I have to say Shay that was a very insightful and thus a wonderful post.If anyone can come up with a holiday card for all I know you can create it my friend.

I just don't understand why if you gave someone a merry christmas card and even if they didn't agree with christmas or they just celebrate another way why that should offend. The meaning is the same. if someone said happy anything other then christmas i would still know what they meant and would not mind.Even tho I did get mad when al mart stopped saying merry christmas and it was happy holidays..maybe I should rethink

as for your Inter critic..I say call it Shay IC the women inside a women full of mystery.Or IC for short

Happy RamaHanuKwanzMas too all and too all an non offensive season of joy.I'm just say'