So I suffer from a bad case of perfectionism. In the past it’s been paralyzing and has forced me to set aside some projects that probably had a lot of promise. But the dreaded inner critic would rear her ugly head and say, “Are you, like, for real?” (My inner critic is apparently a stuck up Valley Girl circa Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless). “How you can even think of showing anyone that piece of garbage is beeeee-yond me.” My inner critic is a gem. A real support system. She shuts me down before I’ve even gotten started.
So I had to come up with a way to overcome that bitchy critic. A way that would allow me to see my art-making as fun instead of this pressure cooker of anxiety. My critic would say, “Who’s gonna wanna buy that?” when my heart was saying, “I just want to play with my art supplies.” And so that’s what I did. I created an “everyday art kit” of sorts that I can easily pull out when I have just ten minutes to work or if I’m on an airplane or if I’m sitting on my balcony with a cup of tea. It allows me to do art during small pockets of time, without the pressure that sometimes comes from a huge blank canvas and tons of supplies. I was always telling myself that I needed hours of time to be able to do art. Now this kit allows me to create these magical moments with no pressure and no expectations. Easy breezy done. Let me share with you what’s in my kit:
9″ x 12″ Strathmore Mixed Media paper pad–I love this paper because it really works for everything. You don’t have to be afraid of using glue, paints, water, markers, etc. on it. It’s forgiving and heavy weight.
Koi Water Colors Pocket Field Sketch Box by Sakura–This water colors field set changed my life. Being able to carry a whole set of paints with me on the go has allowed me to do art in lots of unusual places. It comes with a little palette, foam sponges and THIS IS THE BEST PART–a fillable water brush. You simply fill the plastic brush’s water well and you have an instant water source for your painting. Carry a water bottle on your trips and you can refill as needed. It’s GENIUS!!!! When you’re all done, just close up the box and cap your water brush and you’re on your way.
Portfolio Series Water Soluble Oil Pastels–These oil pastels are perfect for quick projects. You can use them wet or dry and they can be easily blended to create beautiful effects. I chose the pack of 24 colors for variety but they also come in other size packs.
Color Shine by Heidi Swapp–I like to carry at least one of these spritz bottles for an extra pop. They combine cool colors with a beautiful glow and come in an array of gorgeous tones. This image shows the Teal.
A small pencil case with pens, colored pencils, charcoal, whatever your favorite drawing implements might be.
Washi tape–my favorites change from week to week but here are a few of my current faves.
Baby wipes/paper towels–for easy clean-up, blending and picking up color.
I hope this post inspires you to come up with your own ways of ignoring your inner critic, By making the process easy and low-pressure, you create an environment that tells you its okay to make mistakes, try new things, and be vulnerable to where your creativity wants to take you. Perfectionism is the killer of dreams. Pack your art kit into a small bag and have it at the ready. Take it to the park or the beach, break it out while you’re watching TV, or take a few moments at your dining table to do something for yourself today and every day. Even if it’s just for a few magical moments.