Wednesday, December 15, 2010

dear inner critic: quiet you!

  so here it is folks - lately i've been facing the exciting and terrifying reality that my life needs some major changes.  throughout my entire life i noticed that i viewed the world completely differently than the people around me.  i always took this to mean "something is wrong with me," instead of "something is special about me."  what exacerbated my insecurity was the fact that i grew up in a culture, and a part of the country, where art was not valued nor offered as classes.
by the time i got through college and realized that my true being was an artist, i had already finished two degrees {elementary educ. & psychology} and lacked ALL artistic skill.  
what was i to do?

looking back, i wish i had the courage and confidence to explore my artistic being right then and there, despite the career paths i had chosen.  but i thought it was too late.  
i moved to san francisco, spent the first three years in a horrible, soul-sucking lawfirm job until i couldn't take it anymore and decided to get my masters degree.  

once again, i came to a crossroad.  i ended up in a job that had nothing to do with either of my college degrees, so couldn't i make graduate school a new opportunity to explore my artist within?  once again, however, i was consumed with my insecurity and the fact that i would have to spend extra time and money to take all sorts of basic art classes.  and again, i ended up deciding it was just too late for me.  

i did the easy thing {not that grad school is exactly easy} and went on with psychology, becoming a marriage and family therapist.  now let me say that i do actually immensely enjoy conducting therapy.  it is so fascinating and fulfilling to work with people who need support!  but since moving to los angeles, it has been quite difficult to get a job in the world of therapy, which has yet again brought up those feelings of what i'm REALLY wanting to do with my life.  

this time round, i think the universe is finally getting through to me.  i've been finding all these people and picking up all these random books that join together in beautiful harmony, all to say to me:

"you ARE an artist, whether you have the skills yet or not. 
don't let anymore of your life go by without embracing this 
beautiful part of you or doing something about it!"

so i've been reading the artist's way {which is completely amazing for all kinds of people, by the way, not just "artists"}, and taking the creative action e-course by scoutie girl {another great read, plus it's free!}.  i've been jumping in, surrounding myself with people who understand i'm a beginner artist and support all of my creative endeavors.  i'm also exploring the world of art through action despite my lack of proper skill.  i've been thinking of myself as a preschooler artist - someone who needs a lot of nurturing, protection, hands-on opportunities, and room to explore the creative world for better growth.

so far things are going really well.  my mean ole nasty inner critic rears its ugly head {and very loud voice} on a daily basis, but i have remained faithful to my dreams.  i've come to the point, however, where i must make my intentions known.  trying to keep my goal on the down low isn't very conducive to growth anymore, and i could really use a little extra encouragement in such an overwhelming {but exciting!} choice.  i also hope that maybe my honesty about how scary it is to go for such an important dream, will help inspire anyone out there who is facing the same fears.  seriously - it's terrifying!  but the most important things, with the greatest rewards, are always the scariest.  so i guess i'm on the right track.   i have no idea yet what exactly i'm going to do with my life, how art will fit in or what exactly will be the thing that i get paid for.  happily, therapy and art go hand-in-hand, so "all of the above" is a viable option.  for now, however, i'm not going to overwhelm myself too much with these questions.  i know everything will fall into place, despite whatever unsolicited warnings my inner critic dishes out.

speaking of the inner critic, this is an amazing article on how to quiet it, which i think everyone should read, no matter who you are or what your dream is.  we all face our inner critic, and we all would lead much happier lives if we knew how to handle that loud ominous voice.

and for a bit of art inspiration, here is a print that has been helping me out a lot lately:
isn't it great?! this is by laurageorge, one of my favorite artists.  
and if you're interested, you can buy this very print right here!