Wednesday, December 15, 2010

dear inner critic: quiet you!

  so here it is folks - lately i've been facing the exciting and terrifying reality that my life needs some major changes.  throughout my entire life i noticed that i viewed the world completely differently than the people around me.  i always took this to mean "something is wrong with me," instead of "something is special about me."  what exacerbated my insecurity was the fact that i grew up in a culture, and a part of the country, where art was not valued nor offered as classes.
by the time i got through college and realized that my true being was an artist, i had already finished two degrees {elementary educ. & psychology} and lacked ALL artistic skill.  
what was i to do?

looking back, i wish i had the courage and confidence to explore my artistic being right then and there, despite the career paths i had chosen.  but i thought it was too late.  
i moved to san francisco, spent the first three years in a horrible, soul-sucking lawfirm job until i couldn't take it anymore and decided to get my masters degree.  

once again, i came to a crossroad.  i ended up in a job that had nothing to do with either of my college degrees, so couldn't i make graduate school a new opportunity to explore my artist within?  once again, however, i was consumed with my insecurity and the fact that i would have to spend extra time and money to take all sorts of basic art classes.  and again, i ended up deciding it was just too late for me.  

i did the easy thing {not that grad school is exactly easy} and went on with psychology, becoming a marriage and family therapist.  now let me say that i do actually immensely enjoy conducting therapy.  it is so fascinating and fulfilling to work with people who need support!  but since moving to los angeles, it has been quite difficult to get a job in the world of therapy, which has yet again brought up those feelings of what i'm REALLY wanting to do with my life.  

this time round, i think the universe is finally getting through to me.  i've been finding all these people and picking up all these random books that join together in beautiful harmony, all to say to me:

"you ARE an artist, whether you have the skills yet or not. 
don't let anymore of your life go by without embracing this 
beautiful part of you or doing something about it!"

so i've been reading the artist's way {which is completely amazing for all kinds of people, by the way, not just "artists"}, and taking the creative action e-course by scoutie girl {another great read, plus it's free!}.  i've been jumping in, surrounding myself with people who understand i'm a beginner artist and support all of my creative endeavors.  i'm also exploring the world of art through action despite my lack of proper skill.  i've been thinking of myself as a preschooler artist - someone who needs a lot of nurturing, protection, hands-on opportunities, and room to explore the creative world for better growth.

so far things are going really well.  my mean ole nasty inner critic rears its ugly head {and very loud voice} on a daily basis, but i have remained faithful to my dreams.  i've come to the point, however, where i must make my intentions known.  trying to keep my goal on the down low isn't very conducive to growth anymore, and i could really use a little extra encouragement in such an overwhelming {but exciting!} choice.  i also hope that maybe my honesty about how scary it is to go for such an important dream, will help inspire anyone out there who is facing the same fears.  seriously - it's terrifying!  but the most important things, with the greatest rewards, are always the scariest.  so i guess i'm on the right track.   i have no idea yet what exactly i'm going to do with my life, how art will fit in or what exactly will be the thing that i get paid for.  happily, therapy and art go hand-in-hand, so "all of the above" is a viable option.  for now, however, i'm not going to overwhelm myself too much with these questions.  i know everything will fall into place, despite whatever unsolicited warnings my inner critic dishes out.

speaking of the inner critic, this is an amazing article on how to quiet it, which i think everyone should read, no matter who you are or what your dream is.  we all face our inner critic, and we all would lead much happier lives if we knew how to handle that loud ominous voice.

and for a bit of art inspiration, here is a print that has been helping me out a lot lately:
isn't it great?! this is by laurageorge, one of my favorite artists.  
and if you're interested, you can buy this very print right here!


  1. This is what I needed to hear today. Thank you so much Kim for sharing this. I really appreciate your writing. You’ve made my day!

  2. Keep up the good's too short to not do something that makes you happy.

  3. I'm with you Kim - I'm going for a degree in sales and marketing but what I really want to do is write books. And the worst part is that my inner critic tells me to stop that silly dream and I can never get published.

    Lets do away with them. They're nothing but negative Nelly's, right?

  4. There is something special about you; there's nothing wrong with you. I think it's just fantastic that you're taking time to explore this artistic side of you -- and I definitely think there are just SO many possibilities of things you can do with art and therapy. Art allows us to express ourselves more than just talking sometimes, and I love that. You should start exploring...maybe volunteer as a therapist at a school that needs it?

  5. remember that life is to be enjoyed and not to be seeking the approval of those that don't care about you... they are not going to pay your bills!

  6. I'm completely with you, Kim. I was like that when I was younger - I enjoyed art and writing and photography and all sorts of artistic endeavors...but as I got older and saw people who were so much more talented than me in all those areas, I gave up out of insecurity. I so regret it. So that's the advice I give to younger people nowadays: never give up on it, even if you think someone is better than you are. Even though it sounds like common sense now, everyone's perspective is different, and that's what we have to focus on: our own artistic perspective. If you don't create what you create, no one else will.

    So now I'm trying to pick it up again, and trying not to let my inner critic, insecurity, and whatever else get the better of me.

    I totally get it, Kim! :) Just from meeting you once, I can already tell you have lots of style and can create wonderful things :) And what's great is that you have this degree for marriage counseling, and you can slowly use your time to create and be that artist you are, while still having a steady job :)
    (That's also an idea I've been having for myself - maybe get a degree to be a therapist, while continuing to pursue my artistic endeavors on the side).

    Whatever happens, Kim, you'll succeed. I'm certain of it :) Because you're the type of person people want to be around and nurture. Continue on to be that artist you are, and I'm so looking forward to see what will come of it!! :)

  7. I love this print and know exactly who I need to give it to.

    And seriously, follow your dream. We only have one life.

  8. This post is the story of my life! I have been up against a wall for the past 3 years, being stuck in a career that isn’t even what I went to school for. And it’s getting to the point where I may just walk out and call it a day. But her is my dilemma, when I was going to school I worked full time and couldn’t do an internship. How am I suppose to get into Radio if I don’t have “experience”? It kills me. No local stations will let me come volunteer because I need to be a “student”. I am a “Grad-Student”! Anyway…I’m at a loss. Do I go back to school? The thought makes me nauseous. Do I just give up and continue to push papers around? I’m Taylee Case Winder! I don’t give up!

    And then there is the part about wanting to pursue photography full time. But that’s another story or another day.

    I’m proud of you for immersing yourself with others who get what you are trying to achieve. Keep to your dreams, you’ll go far, I can feel it!

  9. i think any job in a law firm would be soul crushing to a creative type! gah! i would die there!

    and kudos to you for following your dreams. sometimes it is a long and winding road, but it sounds like you are on your way! :)

  10. It IS hard to be a person, and you are doing a GREAT job!

    Good for you for taking risks and following your dream, wherever it might take you (for what it's worth, I'm with Brandi- art therapy is a great idea!) The best bit? You've got the Mr. by your side, and something tells me he's your #1 fan!

  11. It was so fun meeting you Kim!! We should all get together for a blog party of something, maybe for the new year! ;) Have a wonderful Christmas!

  12. Kim,
    I love this post. First of all it is no honest and encouraging but also so insightful. There is so much I love about this that I could go on forever. I can totally relate to wanting to have practical degrees and still thinking what the heck am I suppose to do with myself.

  13. What a great post! Very inspiring :) I love that you have decided to follow your dreams. It's never too late, which is something more of us need to realise.

  14. I love this post!

    I think it's absolutely fantastic that you're following your dreams! I've always yearned to do something with art, creating, and make it a full time job. Although, I've always been so afraid to step away from the daily mundane job that I have, because I know that the security is there to make ends meet.

    Thank you for inspiration!

  15. Excellent points all around. I'm going to check out that article pronto. And I love the term "preschooler artist!" I have an MFA . . . don't know if I'd advocate for going that route or not given the current climate (no one has any money to hire artists or art teachers), but it sure was fun!

  16. Sounds like you and I are in the same boat, lady. We can do it! : )

  17. oh kim!
    i can't wait til we get together and talk about all of this!
    let's just start a band, and travel around in a vw van and sell sketches for food...
    or you know.. at least figure out what the heck we're doing... :)

  18. That darn inner critic... I dislike mine very much! It's so difficult being stuck in a job or position that you don't like and wondering when things are finally going to change. I've been wanting to find a new rhythm for myself in the work department and haven't had much luck so far, and I'm trying to just let the chips fall as they may...

    Good luck with continuing to find your balance and keep your critic quiet! :)

  19. I wish you all the best of luck in the road ahead. It's such a scary thing to pursue your dreams because sometimes we can be our own worst critics... but you are most certainly on the right path and you'll soon realize the importance of this journey because of what's ahead in your future :)

    I find myself at the same crossroads lately: working a job because it pays the bills but not fulfilling my dream of becoming a writer out of fear that I'll fail. I'm slowly learning to let go, too.

  20. Kim, this post is so very inspirational! Your positive attitude and passion for creativity will take you far in everything you do!