Artists and illustrators are often insanely hard on themselves.
My inner critic started becoming really loud after I decided illustration and art were my professional calling instead of a hobby. No wonder – now, my artistic endeavours would be judged in another light, and to me, it meant having to compete in the professional Art Arena (ultimately I find this to be both true and untrue, but that should probably fall under a following entry).
Enter the Inner Critic..
The Inner Critic often starts screaming so loudly that it blocks out all other sound. In my case, the Inner Critic not only screamed but he also dragged me to the couch and sat right on top of me, rendering me immobile for indeterminate amounts of time, poarrr me was only able to stare helplessly at the wall. Immobile means of course being unproductive, and so I discovered the Inner Critic goes hand in hand with Creative Block.
Luckily, I’ve found ways to deal with these guys whenever he/they pop/s ‘round. Another good thing is, I’m noticing him less and less!
One of my favourite discoveries through my illu-buddy @irenebuur was setting up 21 day challenges regularly. Regularly?! But you have loaaads to do!
Write out a daily programme spanning 21 days within a theme you’d like to explore further. Break up the days in practical steps that can be completed within 15 minutes. 15 minutes is the magic phrase. That way you have to limit your choice of action/excercise or your choice of material or information you would have to work with.
15 minutes is also too short to finish with something brilliant, thus the pressure of achievement/result is lifted.
I’ve used the 21 days’ 15 minute challenge to experiment with new materials, starting my own story, an illustration assignment I found hard to begin with, and I’ve got a few upcoming themes I’m going to apply it to. To add a bit of mindfulness, I shared with my illustration-bud Irene how I felt after every challenge day..
*starts setting up 21-day challenge to make other 21-day challenge schedules*