MORE Valentine's Day crafts! And some arty thoughts too!

You know already that we do a lot of crafts here at the cottage. Lucky for me, the girl loves to make things, my partner in crime. Here are our Martha Stewart crayon hearts that we made. We hung some in the window.

And we hung some on a few branches that I picked up yesterday at a public market. Our Valentine's Day tree.

What do I love about these? The imperfections. That the hearts aren't perfectly symmetrical. Some I cut out and some the girl cut out. I love hers - the natural lines and shapes. Organic and unplanned and not so -- not so perfect. Original. She's the only one who could have made these particular hearts. 

Remember that in our reading nook I have a shelf with books on art making and creativity? I picked one up yesterday and looked through it - Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. It's not a new book. And it isn't a long one. You could easily read it over a cup or two of coffee. And that's where I was yesterday afternoon while the girl was at her pottery class. At a cafe drinking a mocha and looking at what spoke to me when I first read it. Seeing what speaks to me now.

Right now the girl is at a delicious age in art making where she has no inner critic lodged in her brain. She just.makes.art. She may get frustrated on occasion trying to execute her ideas, but she draws and paints and cuts and glues and glitters and folds with no judgement. With no criticism. Just unquestioned delight in art making.

Now that would be a lovely place to be. And that's one of my goals for this year - to get back to that place. Or at least a few steps closer.

You see, when it comes to making art, and making music (more on that another time), this quote from Art and Fear resonates with me:

We carry real and imagined critics with us constantly - a veritable babble of voices, some remembered, some prophesied, and each eager to comment on all that we do.

Enough already with the inner critics. Enough with the comments. Enough.

So what am I doing to keep them at bay? To silence them? Two things. First, I am only sharing my goals and art with those who will be supportive. Pearls before swine and all that - no use in setting ourselves up for criticism from the shadenfreude corner, eh? (This is something that Susan Peterson mentioned in an Alt Channel e-class that took last week about setting goals. As an aside, check out the courses coming up - lots of interesting ones!)

And second, (something else from Art and Fear), it's going to be quantity over quality. No, not that I won't care about the quality. Of course I will. But if I get all hung up and judgey and evaluate-y of each.photo.I.take or each.post.I.write or song I play or art that I make, then I will never, ever do anything. Or at least anything that isn't fussed and worried and overthought. 

Amidst the dross there will be some gems.

How about you? Do you have an inner critic? What do you do to dampen its influence on your art making?