Why Yes! My inner critic IS a big jerk

I’m currently reading “Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: and Other Truths About Being Creative” by Danielle Krysa. I was hooked as soon as I read the title. My inner critic prevented me from being creative for many years and from having the confidence to major in art. It took about 20 years for the desire to be creative to win out over my inner critic. The winning argument I came up with was, “I don’t care if I’m good or not, creating makes me happy, and practicing will help me get better.”

I remember reading an article years ago about a female artist. I thought her life seemed so cool when she described her process and what inspired her. She lived in Maine by the coast and that inspired her artwork. I wondered, “Who gave her permission to be an artist, and create whatever inspired her? Her parents, her partner?” I don’t know if I realized immediately how ridiculous that thought was. Of course SHE gave herself permission. Maybe her parents or partner supported her art along the way (and supported her decision to be an artist), but she believed in herself.

Shortly after reading the article the desire to work on what inspired me took over. It was no longer enough to create the assignments the teacher in my continuing education drawing class gave me. I wanted to know, “What would I create if I was left alone to explore?” Discovering what inspires me has been the fun part of my creative journey these past 3 years.

“Art is in me. I couldn’t keep it buried.”
– Martha Rich, Artist/Teacher
(from “Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk” by Danielle Krysa)

Currently I’m inspired by my favorite place – the beach. I ignore my inner critic by sitting down and creating every day…and often surprising myself by the results. Has your inner critic held you back?

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8 thoughts on “Why Yes! My inner critic IS a big jerk

  1. Sounds like an interesting book to look into, thank you for sharing. Am glad to hear that you have found a way to ignore your inner critic and are enjoying your adventure painting the beach. Love seeing your progress and process, it is very inspiring.

  2. Hi, Eileen! Loved this post! Yup, my inner critic is always hanging around, giving her 2 cents on anything & everything. Surprisingly, sometimes what she says helps me make my work better, and other times it’s just raging insecurity – my challenge has been learning how to tell the difference and then quickly moving on. Loved Danielle’s book, too.

  3. I had an inner critic that kept me painting for 7 long years! I will never allow that inner critic to mishandle me again. I still struggle with it but manage to fling it aside or ignore. I will look into the book that you suggested.

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