BE YOUR OWN BEST CRITIC (Part Two)
”There Is A Ghost In My Head”, Mixed Media On Canvas, 40?x60?
Did you notice that the title of this blog is: “Be Your Own BEST Critic”?
Best, not worst!
Best means gentile but honest. Truthful but kind. Firm but forgiving.
Creating really good art is hard enough without beating yourself up about your mistakes and failures. (I mean learning opportunities)
Being your own best critic means being able to step back from your work and assess it, not from the point of view of the artist as maker but as the critical observer. You must be able to move back and forth between action and evaluation. Critical judgement is a necessary prerequisite.
You must be able to be an honest critic whose only interest is quality. You must be able to create the best quality art that you are able to achieve with the current knowledge and experience that you possess right now. Today. Not where you want to be or where you think you should be. That wouldn’t be fair.
And, as I said in Part One, you know when you have given it your all and done the best you could do on any given painting.
Only you have the ability to recognize and confirm that a creation of yours is complete.
This is what as known as being self-directed. Having the ability to make your own critical evaluations.
Of equal importance is developing the ability to become self-motivated. This also requires honesty and fairness. Are you motivated to get out to the studio and make art today? YES or NO! Not maybe. Never maybe! If the answer is yes, then get to work immediately. If the answer is no, great. Move on, do other things and do not feel bad about saying no to art making today.
Having a painting or a series or a great idea that you are excited about and/or are currently working on, or a deadline (self imposed or otherwise) are great motivators.
One of the ways that I motivate myself is to always leave my studio at the end of the day with a short list of things that I know that I want to do to my current painting the next day. This way I can jump right in to the work the next day already knowing what I am going to do.
Lastly, Learning to be self-disciplined is essential. How important is your art making to you? How important is your creative time to you? What are you willing to do to make sure that you have this precious, sacred time every day, every week, every month? Setting priorities, setting goals and carving out studio time is so important for you as an artist and for the momentum of your creativity.
MOMENTUM. I love the word and the concept.
Momentum is one of the main essential ingredients for me and my art making. The more time I devote to my art, the more art I make, the better the art gets. Momentum really works Try it. You will be amazed at the results.
Being your own best critic and becoming self-directed, self-motivated and self-disciplined are not easy but well worth the effort.