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The Inner Critic

So, exactly what is this inner critic that we hear so much about? If you asked me that question years ago, I would have answered that it's the part of you that compels you to make certain changes in a drawing when lines look out of place.

Fast forward to today and now I can't truly say. All I know is that I have become more aware of it and at different times, I don't particularly agree with what it has to 'say'.

Actually, when I started drawing, I had no idea there was such a thing as an "inner critic". However, when I started feeling apprehensive prior to drawing, I stopped and pondered about what was happening.

Recently, as I was about to draw on a birthday card, I was startled by a doubt that flitted through my mind, questioning if I had the skills to do something that was good enough.

Was this interruption from my inner critic? If so, why was this uninvited thought so negative?

It made me frustrated so I brushed it aside in annoyance and commenced the drawing with stubborn determination.

As it turned out, I was very satisfied with the illustration/card which you can see below:-

Birthday Card Drawing

As I look at this drawing today, all I recall is the peaceful state I experienced in its creation and not the mental struggle. That's a clear message to me that doubt can only exist if you allow its presence.

It is my intention to never worry about people judging my artwork -- some will like it, others won't.

Flower Drawing Landscape on a Card

It's a fact of life that I can't control no matter what kind of effort I put into trying to make it change.

Do your own experiment by viewing existing artwork - there will be pieces that you think are awful but someone will love and buy them.

Just know that your work will be admired. Not everyone can draw and those who don't even try, well, they really respect the determination of people who do.

If you accept that you can't please everyone all of the time, you'll find this mindset helps you to progress freely, without hang-ups.

Most of my results fill me with a great sense of achievement and therein lies the addictiveness of drawing. I love that feeling and I just have to go back for more!

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Removing The Inner Critic

Waving Hand

After this recent episode with the (so-called) inner critic, it made me wonder how often in the past I had actually listened to it!

However, NOW I will say goodbye to those messages that previously managed to suck away the little bit of confidence I had.

I always knew that I'd never finish learning all there is to know about drawing but I never suspected this artform would also teach me how to control my manner of thinking.

I'm always discovering more positives for this wonderful drawing hobby and each time it has a real impact on me. I hope you can experience similar revelations because it all leads to your growth as a confident artist.

Honestly, can you think of any benefit in telling yourself you can't do something? Exactly who does that thought hurt? It's YOU and only you! How offended would you be if a friend said the same thing to you? You'd react, right? So when you have the same thoughts from within, don't tolerate them.

Drawing of a Single Rose

Can you see how this insidious fear stops you from achieving what you want?

So, why do you even allow it? You have the choice to allow or deny destructive thoughts so use that power wisely.

I know it's easy for me to say but with a little bit of determination, you can do it, too. Get mad if you have to, but just make sure you never doubt yourself again.

When I start drawing on a beautifully textured blank card, I just do it, I can't worry about whether I ruin it or not. This attitude completely removes any further interruptions from my inner critic.

I enjoy the whole process and so far I haven't botched up a drawing so badly that I can't use the card. Besides, I don't care if I do because I know I'll learn more lessons and grow from there.

Gosh, paper isn't that expensive that you have to be scared of using it.

Drawing on birthday cards is a fantastic idea because you find yourself making the time to create them for someone special. Otherwise, it's too easy to think you can't fit drawing into your busy life. Any practice is good practice!

How To Stop Doubting

Now, here's the biggee...

The best way to excel at anything is to feed yourself with plenty of encouragement and praise. This food/fuel is important to your well-being and any over-indulgence is healthy, too. There you go, that's one instance where too much is a good thing!

Remember:- Ability withers under criticism yet it totally blossoms under encouragement.

This is just one method to remove the doubt demon but really there are many options available. As mentioned above, I used determination so you can, too.

Program your inner critic to help you solve problems or to be complimentary when appropriate but it must be ignored or made silent when it can't say anything good.

Tree Drawings

Have you heard about people who have Plan A, B, C, etc? They are successful because they never give up! Keep persisting until you find a solution for removing uncertainty because you really do possess all the talent you require and once you realize this, it changes your life.

If you want to be good at drawing, go ahead and draw - it doesn't matter what - just draw. If the resulting image is a flop, big deal, throw it away and move on to the next one.

You learn and improve from all mistakes. Even if it's binned, be delighted with yourself for having a go because that's much better than living in fear of making mistakes.

I like this quote that I once put on the All About Drawings Facebook page...

"Don't carry your mistakes around with you. Instead, lay them on the ground and use them as stepping stones so you can rise above them."

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This book starts with how to draw a straight line and then takes you all the way through to making competent images. Best of all, it's detailed in very simple terms with numerous corresponding illustrations.

The whole book is actually a combination of my 4 popular Kindle books (with some extra drawings and other stuff) so I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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