Welcome to my new blog series “From the inbox” where we tackle those mindsets and
issues that hold us back and keep us from living creatively. Enjoy!
Hello dear friend,
I so resemble this sentiment. When I started painting so many years ago, I too hated almost everything I created. While I loved creating and playing around on canvas, creating textures, and the general process of creating art – when I came time to look at the finished product, I would cringe almost all the time.
Do these thoughts feel familiar?: I hate this. No one will ever like this. What did I do? Why can’t I get better? Why do I even try?
Do those thoughts multiply when you show someone your art and hear comments like: Why is your art so weird? What am I looking at? You call that art? Or worse yet, the non-verbal disapproval – a frown, the eye squint, or even that slight “tsk…” sound.
Many times over, the internal and external critics have us questioning our ability to create art which we can be proud of. And with that doubt, comes the question: How can we claim to be artists when we don’t like our own art?
The answer is to simply dig in, persevere, and keep going. In spite of ourselves and the messages we receive – from within and without. Yes, simply keep going.
If you are a writer, keep writing….a potter, keep playing with clay….a poet, keep rhyming…a painter…keep painting.
Don’t give up, even if you produce messes like these….
Why continue, you ask? Well…persevering through will lead you to a very simple, but profound….
Art is about “PROCESS” vs “PRODUCT.”
Art IS NOT about the finished piece/product we end up hanging on a wall somewhere.
Art IS that conversation we have with ourselves (and with others) as we create and share our work with others.
That’s right! When the focus of our art turns toward the process, rather than the end product, something happens deep within and we begin to feel a slight shift of internal energy – from dread to excitement, from loathing to playful engagement, from internal criticism to corrective problem solving.
We go from….“That’s an ugly color” or “That shape sucks” to “Wow, what an interesting choice – let’s see where I’m going with this” or
“I suck as an artist and give up” to jumping out of bed in the morning and throwing on paint cloths with the thought “Let’s see what happens today.”
The real aim of art is what we learn about ourselves in the process of creating it. We learn about our strengths. We come face to face with those things that motivate us. We become 100% engaged in our own creative process. We learn about the true relationship we have with our inner voices and selves, and we learn to navigate through our own negativity.
While we create art, we are glimpsing inside our our own hearts and souls.
Yes, we will continue to keep producing messes, but our dislike of our own art WILL undergo a transition. We will gaze upon all our work, the “good,” the “bad” and the “ugly” and learn to admire it ALL for what it is…
…our artistic soul breaking free.
You – my friend – you’ve got this.
Let’s celebrate! Share your favorite “hated” piece on XOXOX Art Studio facebook page.
Wanna break free in your creative endeavors from negative self-talk?
I’m here to help. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2 Replies to “From the inbox: “Help. I hate my art. What do I do?””
This post along with others that deftly illustrate the creative process are quite simply splendid.
They speak clearly of an inner strength experienced, that transcend the artistic process, and speak to the life process itself. Bravo!!!
Oscar Wilde said way back in 1889 in “The Decay of Lying” that, “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”