UPDATE: Congratulations Kathy, you are the winner of the drawing for a copy of The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Your Inner Critic. Please use the contact form to send me your mailing address and I’ll get the book right out to you.
We all have an Inner Critic. Mine can stop me in my tracks, making me believe I can’t do anything. He’s a combination of all the negative voices heard throughout my life, with my own unrealistic expectations and perfectionist demands heaped on top. Hard to ignore because bits of truth run through everything he says. Problem is, that truth is wrapped in enough layers of lies and exaggeration to crush creativity. We need to find a way to peel off those layers, take what is useful, and get on with our work.
Trainer, author, and creativity coach, Quinn McDonald has addressed this in her new book, The Inner Hero Creative Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Your Inner Critic. I was excited when Quinn invited me to be a contributor to this new book. She asked me to explore an Inner Hero who would help me confront my Inner Critic and to create a 5″x7″ piece of art representing this. No limits on design, medium, or technique, she wanted whatever I was inspired to create. No jury or selection committee to make sure the work was good enough. Just create the art, do the writing, and send it out in the world. Of course my Inner Critic was awakened. Who was I to think I could make something that would be good enough? I usually start creating and let meaning evolve as I work, but I really needed an Inner Hero.
Quinn did a guided visualization for me where I went on an imaginary journey to meet The Alchemist, an Inner Hero who is all about transformation, taking what is and turning it into what is desired. Acknowledging fear and turning it into courage, transforming anger into strength, uncertainty into confidence. I asked her how these things are possible, and she gave me one word, QUESTION. I’m sure many who know me are shaking their heads, skeptical about the whole idea of visualization, but it was a powerful technique for unleashing my imagination. I did some deep writing immediately afterwards, and over the next several days, images and ideas from that imaginary journey came back to me and led to the design of The Alchemist card.
This is just one technique, the path I took. In the book, Quinn shares different writing and mixed-media art techniques that the reader can use to discover their own Inner Heroes and create their own set of cards. Other contributors, all real people with real Inner Critics, share their process of creating art and doing deep writing about finding an Inner Hero. Reading their stories shows me I am not alone, and if others can do it, I can, too.
Quinn has provided a signed copy of the book for me to give away, if you would like to win, just leave a comment on this post by April 4. I will choose one name by random drawing from all the entries, and announce the winner at the top of this post on April 5.