One of the main lessons I’m learning on my creative journey is to respect, not fear, the subjectivity of art. I used to think that a painting was only ‘good’ if it looked like it did in real life. I think I assumed that the ability to technically reproduce an image by hand equalled talent. And maybe it does. But I also came to understand that while I can respect the talent that goes into photo realism, it’s not something my spirit enjoys. I have no connection on an emotional level when I look it. ie: boring!
When I looked more closely at the artists I do enjoy I realized there were many things I could criticize, all of them technical.
Juliette Crane’s owls, for example, don’t look the way you’d expect owls to look: http://www.juliettecrane.com/art/
Jane Davenport’s faces are not proportionate, nor the ‘right’ color:https://www.pinterest.com/LenaMi/art-teacher-jane-davenport/
Teesha Moore’s collage work is just odd: http://teeshamoore.com/
Yet I LOVE all of their art. It inspires me and makes me happy when I look at it. And I’ve come to learn that it is exactly the subjectivity that each artist brings to their work that makes it interesting to me. Think of Monet, Van Gogh… I mean, how boring would the world be if we didn’t have their beautiful styles? Only Jane Davenport could make faces the way she makes them. Only Juliette Crane can make owls like Juliette Crane. There is only ONE Teesha Moore. When I look at art I now look for what makes it different, what makes it uniquely that artist’s work. How does it appeal to ME?
The kicker is, I’m challenging myself to view my own art in the same light, to teach myself to see that the things I don’t like about my own art is really more about the growth of my personal style and to start accepting them. If Jane Davenport stopped because the eyes she drew were too big, we wouldn’t have her beautiful mermaids. If Juliette Crane let her inner critic convince her that her owls were stupid, I wouldn’t be able to look at them and smile because I think they are sooooooo cute!
Ignore your inner critic and push through the negativity it creates. Force yourself to take a leap of faith and share your art. Celebrate the positive feedback that will follow. Keep doing these things and that harsh critic will get weaker, allowing your sense of flow and joy to increase when you create. xo, seena
I must confess today’s blog post is actually a Facebook post from my new Facebook Group: Art Journaling 101 with StudioSeena. I’m touched by those who have told me how it’s inspired them and that inspired me to share it with you. If you enjoyed it, I invite you join Art Journaling 101 with StudioSeena for more inspiration and encouragement. Tell your friends! You don’t have to be an artist to make art!