Here’s the catch, as I tell my story. There is not a part 1 yet.
Part 1 is a bit much for me to tell. I don’t have the reserves for it right now.
It includes a traumatic experience at the age of 16, and then a few years later breakup with my cheating boyfriend in the streets of Chelsea, NY.
Fun stuff, right? Phew. I’ll tell that tale soon, this week has been a bit much, and I know how much reserves I’ve got.
But part 2 is here, and it’s pretty vulnerable, too. Who ever said our stories had to be linear, right?
At one point in my college life, I was studying formal art.
As is done in academia, there’s the open critiques of what you do in front of your classmates. Sounds amazing, right?
These, from what I know now, are unnecessarily brutal.
Really, no data shows that young people need to be humiliated in front of others to do better.
Yet. That’s what I endured, and maybe you too endured.
I had a professor who told me I wasn’t cut out for drawing – in front of all my peers.
This was a class mainly based around graphite or pen and ink drawings.
As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy to hear.
Yet I had enough resolve and reserve in me to know that if this person was going to be my main professor if I continued with drawing, then…nah.
What did I do?
I looked for the teacher in that department I found the most joy in, who taught her students like they were real people, and who made learning exciting.
Then, I learned what she had to offer — which is, in my opinion, the richest topic in the world: art history.
And that teacher is still a mentor of mine today, Dr. Virginia Spivey. Thank you for always seeing me for who I am.
I share this today because a lot of us as creatives have a wound from a teacher or person that often never goes away.
Just the other day, as I was drawing with graphite, that critical voice spoke to me again:
You can’t draw.
You shouldn’t draw.
Who are you to draw when you didn’t get permission to do so?
Here’s the other side of this.
That critical voice, which by the way isn’t at all about that professor anymore, gives me a place to start from.
This is now my story.
Now, I take that criticism and make it my seed place from where to grow and blossom, over and over again.
Here’s the take away:
whatever fuels you is what you’ll claim as your artistry.
More to be continued, as I circle back next week to tell part 1 of my story.
Tell me, beloved, how has your inner critic spoken to you in the recent days?
What do you do to make that voice be your companion, rather than your enemy?