{Journal Thursday: What to do if your critic gets too drunk and starts yelling}

There’s really nothing like starting a new journal. The page is there, and you’re super excited that -- look! shiny and new! -- you just start working from a place of joy. And when you finish, it’s amazing and awesome and you hug your new journal to your chest and sigh, “Ah, a new pretty journal for my adventures.”

That’s totally a sign for your critic to come out. He’s (I say he because mine’s a he, seeing as I’m NOT a he, and therefore, my arguments with him are more amusing) the complete opposite of your muse; picture him as the big guy who comes in and always causes trouble because he had a bad childhood and no mommy and finds it fun to make others feel little.

So this critic comes bumbling in already drunk so he knocks over a few chairs on his way across the room and your muse, bless her (because my talks with her are more amusing), stands up and is totally the bouncer in this situation when she pokes the critic in the chest and tells him to get out.

“Dude,” says the critic, “all your pages are the same colors. Can’t you, you vary things up or something?” He shouts all this over his shoulder as your muse pushes him out the door.

“Don’t listen to him, sweetie,” your muse soothes. “Use your favorite colors all you want.”

But the damn critic’s gotten to you, and all you see when you page through your journals are the same colors used together over and over and over again and gah could there be something to the stupid critic’s comment? Not that you make a practice of listening to the advice of drunk people -- most of the time, it doesn’t even make sense (which is why this is in your headspace; do you think a drunk critic could form a coherent criticism when drunk in reality?).

the good page, full of awesome colors

So I’ve got this drunk critic (yes, this is my headspace because I am not psychic or a vampire or whatever can see into your mind; your secrets are safe)  running around spreading rumors about how I only use certain colors and it’s kinda pissing me off.

“Fine! I will use different colors.”

I shall be honest with you: the page? It SUCKED.

The colors got all muddy because I wasn’t used to blending them. And then, it just looks off because it’s full of stuff I usually don’t like.

See, we’re all drawn to art we like, and we like it all for different reasons. It may be the imagery. Or the composition. Or, yes, the colors. And then when we sit down to create, we replicate what we like. That is the point. The fun of it all. And in a journal, who’s to say we can’t other than a belligerent, tilting inner critic?


Anyway, I created this next page with colors I usually don’t ever use and tried to make it work, tried to bring color variety to my journal, my work, and it totally backfired. I really, really hate the page I made. I’m sure there’s something there I like, but overall, not a fan.

uck. what a mess

And this is what happens when you stop listening to yourself and try something you don’t like. Okay. Yes, you have to branch out and create and experiment -- how else will you find something new you like if you don’t try? -- but if you’ve already done that and know you don’t like it, don’t do it just because your critic can’t hold his liquor. Your journal is for you, so make sure he can’t get it. I’m sure simple locks will do (at least in my case. but I don’t give my critic much to go on most of the time.).

Use your favorite color on every page. I’m pretty sure each one will look different even if you have the same three colors. THAT is experimenting, is using your limits to find something new. It’s like this: if you don’t like Thai food, you’re not going to go into a Thai restaurant AND order something completely foreign. That’s just a waste of money because it’ll have peanut in it and you hate peanut in anything but your sandwiches so you make a funny face and wonder why the hell you agreed to this dinner in the first place. Oh, right. That stupid critic again.

So I’m giving you permission to use whatever colors you want all the time no matter what anyone else says. Take that, critic!