Earlier, video blog specialist and all around brainiac Jay Smooth posted a follow up to his ballad of the little hater. Not the one giving you the stank face when you walk into the room. Not the woman iin the office that finds you offensive simply because you breathe, but the personal little hater residing in the recesses of your mind, waiting to launch a subliminal attack on your self esteem, productivity and general greatness.
Here's the challenge:
I chuckled long and hard on this one this morning, after rifling through tumblr and flickr images of inspiring pottery as a "self-motivational exercise" that left me feeling unskilled and unpolished as a potter.
I'm competitive. More competitive than I let on. More competitive than I am comfortable sharing. It's not something I'm proud of, but I truly despise not being able to do things as well as someone else. My personal hater uses this Achilles heel to keep me from being present in my creative process. I spend so much time reviewing my work and comparing it to artists I look up to, that I sometimes can't see my progress for all my criticisms of my work. Little hater then goes to town til I've completed isolated myself from my potter peers because I don't think I deserve the inspiration of their company.
"This is too heavy."
"This wall really is too thick."
"This glaze work is a little sloppy."
"They're all gonna laugh at you." (stolen from Carrie's little hater, aka her mom)
If I allow my little hater to continue, I'll start heading to the dumpster with work that has shown promise, preparing to break an item into a million pieces before anyone else can see how "gross" it is.
Now, I make myself bring everything home from the studio. The good pieces, the bad pieces, the "meh" pieces. I photograph them and add them to my online portfolio. Whether I like them or not, they are a part of my journey as an artist. When the hater foes to take a nap, I look at my work and some of those criticisms seem harsh, if not wholly unfounded. And then I remind myself...
...just keep throwing.