All too often, when I sit down to draw or paint, I immediately feel this heavy cloud, this burden weighting me down, of creating something magnificent. If I’m filming my process the pressure increases. I am aware of the camera, I narrate the video in my head, explaining, excusing, answering criticism that doesn’t actually exist (yet?!), except in my own head.
(And it’s not the supporters I hear in my mind, it’s the critics, the thumb-downers, who I don’t really know and shouldn’t really care what they think of my work).
The freedom of being alone
I notice something similar when it comes to being alone, versus being with other people. If there are other people around, and they could be the closest people to me, the ones who love me most in this world. If there is even one person around, it makes me view myself from the outside, and I notice a whole lot of things that I’m not very proud of or happy with.
Being completely alone frees me from this outside view of myself. I can throw norms and social standards away, I can behave exactly as I feel like behaving, I can shut down that critical eye that in all other situations I use to observe myself.
Painting these sort of leaves feels similar. There is no pressure and I can just place one little leaf on the page, then another, add a different shade, enjoy watching the colors blending into each other, and not care about the final result, about purpose or quality or importance and meaning. I can just enjoy the creative process.
It is a liberating feeling.