I am startled to realize that I am my committee. It works well when I am telling myself to go to my studio to work (I usually have a slate of projects in process simultaneously and I work on whichever one seems to call on a particular day—or which has a deadline). But my committee is very, very critical and usually not fully happy with any result.
So, why is this true? For decades my sole committee member was my father. An engineer, he thought nothing was worth doing unless it had practical application; and was impressive to his competitive, inflexible mindset. (Slightly ironic since a quilt I made for his and my mother’s 50th wedding anniversary (a family tree) is one of his most prized possessions. But I digress.)
I think that when I became independent then married and had a family that my father lost all interest in me (I wasn’t an engineer, nor was I on a career pathway to fame and success) and I took his place. Yep, I took over my father’s judgementalism in my life. (I am laughing now—how absurd and ridiculous!) But I accepted his standard of perfection (or as near to it as possible); and that I had to be impressive to all and sundry.
I have been aware that my self-criticism comes from our family culture of competition and that winning was all. But I did not realize that I had taken on my father’s role of criticism in my life.
And yet, how does one shake the “Critic”. When I look at my work I see every mistake. I can tell when it does not seem original, creative or interesting enough. Although, I do find that if the work either is put away or goes somewhere else for a while, when I see it again—I am pleasantly surprised.
I will seek my own suspension of the “Critic” and revel in my always present enjoyment of the process (whatever the result). Here I am as my own fairy godmother with the magic of attentiveness rather than negative disparagement.