Posted in Art by June©Malone, drawing, ink, June©Malone, pencil, pencil drawing

Temporary stoicism by-pass & the importance of purposeful play

It could be said that this post leans toward self-indulgence but it is written in the hope that other artists who recognise my dilemma may even glean a morsel of comfort from reading it.

Since my earliest memories I’ve been told and accepted that I could draw and I admit that the act of being creative has immeasurably enhanced my existence.  My passion was cutting hair but, since being enveloped in the vice-like embrace of M.E., hairdressing became impossible – so for two years I’ve been attempting to rediscover my self-taught drawing skills.

Inexplicably, for most of this year my energies have focused on torturing myself with self-induced pressure, whilst my innards wrestled enthusiastically.  The harder I urged myself to produce, the more paralysed my hands and brain became – my illustrations became as rare as those metaphorical hens’ teeth.

Last year a very thoughtful artist friend sent me “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron, which did the trick – even though I consider the author to be slightly dippy.  After revisiting the book this week my rather arthritic recovery seems to have begun once more.  It feels like I’ve been given permission to enjoy being creative…scandalous!

This is not a book endorsement – it is merely an attempt to point out how easily we can become so goal-orientated that we forget to enjoy the process.  So intently focused on becoming an Illustrator was I that I froze and became afraid of failing.

In addition, it is often hugely intimidating to observe the mass of incredibly talented individuals abounding on the internet – a glance at the work of some of my Twitter associates perfectly demonstrates my point.

Apparently my anxiety at feeling I have to produce something ‘great’ every time has blocked my creativity and the remedy is to take small steps rather than large leaps.  I was setting impossible goals for myself.

Today, after a good mental slap, I treated myself.  I sketched my son and muse solely for my own pleasure, without concentrating on best technique or medium.  Don’t think I’m there yet but I hope to keep it up!

P.S. This post by Creative Coach Dan Goodwin says it all really.

Author:

Creatively driven, allergic to mediocrity, open-minded, fairly well behaved and in a permanent state of re-invention.

4 thoughts on “Temporary stoicism by-pass & the importance of purposeful play

  1. Hi June,
    These look just like him! I like them all, but am really drawn to the studies with his guitar. MORE!!!!

    I think what you have discussed, here, is something we all wrestle with. I have decided that I can not improve if I don’t draw and paint. My only way to shut the inner critic up is to keep at it. With practice, I improve. Some day he/she will like what I produce…….. I hope! :)

  2. Thank you, I got a good mental slap from you across the pond. I needed that. I’ve had similar feelings to what you’ve described. I bought The Artist’s Way but thought it was too dippy for me so I sold it at a stoop sale.

    I love the sketches of your son. Please keep them up and keep sharing them with us.

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