I really related to Pat N’s comments aboutnot living up to our own expectations. I can hear that same voice every time I sit down to do my work. (Or write for ‘Open Studio’) However, I wonder if some of those earlier experiences with success and failure ‘messages’ we get from other people feed that inner voice? It seems to take over, long after those other people have moved out of your life.
Being the quiet, not very social kid, I always felt on the outer. I learned to gain approval by being good academically and behaving appropriately at school. This gave me some positive self-regard, but I now know that I was looking for this outside of myself. Unfortunately, looking back, it has made me very self critical, at times. I do try and block out the negative chatter, but I know it holds me back from producing more work. The fear that it won’t be ‘good enough’, is every present.
I think moving past school, going to college and university, work, relationships and family, etc has helped to keep the voice at bay, but still it rears it’s head.
Who is on my Committee?
Unfortunately, a bad experience with a Guild course I did about 8 years ago, has had a negative impact on my creative work. Some of the tutors in this course definitely appear on my ‘committee’ every now and then. I remember constantly clashing with them regarding what was acceptable or not in terms of the work I was doing. It was a ‘Proficiency’ course in a particular technique. It was the first thing I’ve ever failed, and it really rocked my confidence. Jane, when you wrote about your feelings of failure when you withdraw from the course you were doing, which led to CST, I could really relate. Funnily enough, a conversation with someone after that happened led to me rejoining a textile group I had been a member of, previously. I am still with that group today and we work towards a group exhibit every year. It is a supportive, positive group of women, from whom a have learnt a great deal. Looking back, I now try and reframe that failure in terms of the course not suiting what I wanted to achieve. There are other ways to get where I want to go. Being ‘proficient’ in a technique is not going to get me there. That is someone else’s terms of reference.