So something that's been plaguing me for... well the past couple of years really, is hating my art. I'm talking about it now because it's gotten really bad lately to the point where I'm really struggling to love painting at all. I'm guessing some of you are probably thinking that I shouldn't hate my art, but I'm massively insecure in just about everything I produce - whether it be art, writing, even assignments - and I really do struggle with it sometimes.
But I'm learning that I'm being overly critical. Do you ever open up a half-finished drawing, or story, or poem, and go to start working on it, and then just suddenly realise how awful it is? You try to start editing but all the terrible things about it just close in on you until you're either so panicked or so miserable that you can't even try anymore? And you just stop? I know I do.
Thing is, it's probably not as bad as you think. The more you look for the bad things - even subconsciously - the more you'll see.
What I've been needing to do - and maybe some of you too - is not to judge, but to observe.
If you're having trouble with something and you're starting to panic about it (a painting will work better, but you could do it for a scene in a book too), just take a breath. Take a moment to look at it, then start describing it to yourself.
Say you've painted an eye. Don't say 'it looks unfinished' or 'the lashes are too long there' or 'it's too smudgy' - observe it, don't judge it. Say 'it's about an inch across'. Say 'the iris is blue'. Say 'there are a couple of lower lashes visible'. Literally just sit there and say exactly what you see. It might take some time, and some practice (it did for me!), but you can do it!
Describe it down to the smallest detail, if that's the time you need.
By the time you're done, you'll probably feel a lot calmer. You'll also have a much greater grasp on what it is you're doing. You might even know where you want to start to make it even better!
Put it like this - thoughts are like emails. Some are important, some are spam. Things like 'this looks like crap' - that's spam. You don't want to read spam. It's not constructive, so it won't help your painting. You can learn to sort the important emails from the spam, and observing will help with that!
So remember - observe! Don't judge! You'll get to where you want to be