When are we good enough? When am I good enough? I’m glad Professor Baumann asked me to write about it, as it raised a lot of thoughts.
There are some obvious answers like focusing on what I feel inside, not on people’s feedback, and/or exercising detachment from the outcome, and/or only enjoying the journey.
Having been a graphic designer and then web designer for over two decades, I developed a “tough skin.” Everyone has an opinion and it is fine, we are all entitled to have one. I have learned to know when my work was good enough to be presented and to detach myself from the outcome.
Receiving feedback from my painting was a different matter. I do not know how to see my work. It feels to me that it always needs improvement. Often, I have been surprised when the feedback is good.
I realized that the worst critic was… me!
And how many times did I find ways to discount the great feedback I have received.
In a recent Facebook post of one of my painting studies, I thanked a friend for the kind feedback, by saying just that “Thank you. You are too kind.” But I got confronted by my friend Mitchell who responded “You have some mad skill girl! No kindness about it! You really do!”
Mitchell having a Master degree in Fine Art made me reflect. I liked what I had painted, but what did they see that I wasn’t seeing?
What is this censor with its nagging voice in my head reminding me constantly that I may not be good enough?
I welcome the censor though, keeping me in the constant quest to improve myself, my skills and my work. But how can I make this censor become my friend and help me instead of hurt me.
Recently, at the Art Students League of New York, Professor Gervits was giving a short lecture about the pitfalls of thinking we are great. Even after a life of being a master artist, he sees when admiring the work of other master artists, that he can continue to improve. There is no end.
Professor Baumann, master artist and art coach, sees in my work much more than I can see. I want to trust him and one day, I may see it too.
Can I appease this inner censor and learn that I am good enough? This is my journey. This is how I find my voice. And I trust.