For the past few weeks, I've been feeling blocked in my creativity. Apart from feeling generally tired from my new job and on the edge of a cold, I've noticed that the voice of the inner critic has been quite loud. It has been there whenever I've thought about being creative. It's been there when I've considered promoting my business. It's also been there when I've performed with my band.
The voice of the inner critic is harsh, it wants to keep me small and so it tells me that my painting will be crap, so why bother anyway? It reminds me of the things I didn't do so well last time I met with a client. It tells me my performance in the gig wasn't good enough; I should be more confident, more skilled, more perfect before I ever get on stage again.
It's a wonder I ever produce anything in the world!
I've been aware of it. I know that I can build a relationship with the critic and ask it in more depth what it wants, and what its role is in my life. I know that it's important to do this work. But now, I'm tired. I don't feel like doing the work.
So, in the meantime, I decided to make a critic-free space for myself.
I invited a friend over for a cup of tea and laid out a whole bunch of creative materials. And I decided that, today, nothing needs to be 'good'. I decided that I just want to be playful and curious, and enjoy the colours and the process. We both started on our projects, working individually but alongside each other.
I dropped ink onto a page and turned it in circles, watching the drips moving with gravity and the forms of strange creatures emerging. I used a thirsty type of cardboard and let the colour sink in, fading to pale. I loaded my brush with paint and sprayed it across the page.
In that hour or so, I made a bunch of images. But, more importantly, I made myself content.
And I hadn't heard a peep from the critic!
Chelle is a practicing art therapist, researcher, and multi-modal creative. She regularly dives into the unknown to discover what is ready to be born, deepening her trust in the abundantly creative source. For Chelle, art is a means to inquire, express, and transform. If offers the capacity to soothe, making space for new perspectives and ways of being.