Lesson 5 - Painting Mindsets, Silencing The Inner Critic

Let’s silence your inner critic and invite it along for the ride of you becoming the best artist you can be!

It's our self-critics that hinder us from creating. Oftentimes, we let it win. What holds us back isn’t what we think will happen. It’s what already has happened. We judge ourselves. We think we’re not good enough. We think that art is a race and we’re the last to finish.

I’m here to tell you it doesn’t really matter if you're better than the next guy. Art is not a sport. There is no winner or loser. Art is just… well art. It’s pointless to some, but can be a lifelong passion to others.

Most people don’t realize that successful artists don’t really put much thought into the reason why their art is appreciated. The art they create is a product of their physical capabilities and idiosyncrasies. As to why the art is considered successful, we can never really know.

A theory that I have in mind is that art, in all of its glory, is overrated to the artist. I’m not saying artists don’t like what they do — I mean the opposite. The art successful artists create is simply a product of their physical capabilities and idiosyncrasies. As to whether or not their creations are any good is not up to them. It’s for the general public to decide. The ability to move on is what separates good and great artists.

Let’s take a look at Leonardo da Vinci — the Renaissance Man. Quite a large portion of his paintings didn’t see the light of day. But those that did are now displayed behind bulletproof glass to be viewed by millions.

We know nothing of how Leonardo felt about his paintings. But one thing’s for sure: He didn’t expect the Mona Lisa to be as famous as it is now.

Da Vinci said “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” We must keep that in mind — especially in doubting times. Many times, we lose the will to create. And no one other than our self-critics are what keeps us in that place.

The Practice

Practice makes perfect. That’s what they all say. But to what extent?

Experienced leaders and inspirational speakers say that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill. However recent studies found that, depending on the field, practice only accounts for 12%-20% of the performance.

So how should we practice?

People think that passion is a key factor to get better. But what they don’t know is that passion can easily be misplaced. Practicing religiously and passionately only gets you to a certain level. But practicing with purpose is a whole different story.

Purpose isn’t as glamorous as passion. Without purpose, your efforts will not be as rewarding. Imagine throwing stones in the air because you want to hit a bird or something. No matter how strong you are, you’ll probably have an inexistent chance if you throw in a random direction. But if you wait, and actually try to aim, your chances will be higher — not a hundred percent, but higher.

“If your purpose is something larger than you- to accomplish something, to prove something to yourself- then suddenly everything becomes both easier and more difficult.” — Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

The Creative Slump

That one slump wherein we are physically and mentally restricted. It’s in every field and in every craft and in every hobby. Imagine yourself painting but no matter how hard you try, you can’t encapsulate your vision.