At My Age..

There is an evil villain in my head. Lots of people have one. Artists call it the Art Critic. Writers call it the writers critic. Some refer to this person as an inner critic. Mine likes to refer to my age a lot. I am too old to get started as an illustrator. I am too old to be drawing these themes. I am too old to get anywhere meaningful with my art. I am too old to write this genre. I am too old to be playing these games. I am too old.. too old.. too old.  I really need to name this villain.  When I do, I am going to use that name like a cuss word.  That's another post, at another time.

 I discovered a way to shut this person up, at least temporarily. On my 45 minute commute, I often listen to a podcast called Your Creative Push.  In Episode 296 with Altar, they were talking about The Miracle Morning and how just getting up early to do your work can change everything.  As much as I hate mornings, and getting up early, I decided to give it a shot.  I set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier every day.  I am currently up to 5:15 instead of 6:00 and I plan on pushing that up by 10 or 15 minutes until I get to 4:30.  Why 4:30?  Because that gives me 2 hours to do art before I have to leave my house on the days I have to babysit.

In just a few days, I can already see some very positive changes happening.  I used to get up and be very concerned about the current worry topic.  How are my kids doing?  Do I have enough money in the bank?  How big of a mess is my house?  What crisis is doomed to happen? What happened 20 years ago that I can't change?  What should I have said to someone I almost never talk to anymore? etc.  When the goal is to brew some coffee, let my dog go out and then hit my desk to write/draw, all that worry kind of floats away until later.

I can get quite a bit accomplished when that evil villain hasn't had a chance to wake up.  I am currently working on heads using the tutorials on How to Draw Comics.  The goal is to get to a point that I can do fantasy portraits for a project I am involved in.  This is the second way I am beating the battle with the villain in my head.  Instead of trying to get good enough to be hired for work, I am simply improving to make the work I am already doing, even better.  I get to go as slow as I need to and practice as many times as it takes to get a good foundation.  This isn't work for the public.  This is foundation work to make public work.  I need this.  I need the time to practice when I am not in front of someone.  I need to make unimpressive work.  It needs to be wonky and out of alignment and just not right until there is no other choice but to draw it like it is supposed to look.  This is how I learn.  It's time to just embrace that.
Morning Head Study following
Morning sketch of a Mans Head
So at my age, I am just going to wake up and draw.  It isn't about proving anything but that.  I can wake up and draw.  Maybe I will make good illustrations, but mostly, I won't.  I am not getting any younger with each day I let fly by without drawing.  I might lose some sleep, but it won't be the first time, nor the last.

At my age, and because my kids are all grown, I am just going to let them worry about themselves between the hours of 4:30 and 6:30.  I am going to draw to the sound of my husband and my dog snoring as loud as they possibly can.  While they are not worried about me, I won't be worried about them.  I am just going to put a ton of lines in the wrong place until I find the place a line belongs.

At my age, it's time to give myself some credit for showing up.  I showed up when my kids needed me.  I showed up when my outter family needed me.  I show up for my grandsons.  I am really good at showing up.  I put my own life aside to show up when I think it's important.  So from 4:30 - 6:30 I will show up for me and just see what happens.  I will do it before the villain shows up to tell me how ridiculous I am, or how old I am, or how awful I am for even trying.

At my age, I am going to give myself permission to sink into the imaginary world I built and just make things.  I have dealt with the real world a lot in my life.  I have sucked it up, pulled it together, and fought past the grind so many times it should be old hat.  It's not different because it is something I am proving to myself, right?

At my age, I am going to see if I can discover who I am when I am not Her Mom, or His Mom, His Wife or His Grandmother.  At my age, I am just going to be ... an amateur illustrator, or something.