December 17, 2009
Cheap materials

Sometimes I get so stuck on trying to do something well that I can’t even get myself to begin. A few timid attempts result in the Inner Critic telling me I will fail, or be proclaimed a terrible fraud of a creative person, or any of the other clever and deadly things he taunts me with. But here is a good way to trick him into shutting up and getting out of the way while I create.

Use cheap materials. When I downgrade from fine drawing paper to copy paper, it’s obvious to the Inner Critic that I am not doing anything important or worth criticising. If I draw with a gel pen or a Sharpie, I don’t get nearly the same pokes as I do if I pick up a technical pen.

This won’t work if I really do need to create something fine but 95% of the time I don’t need permanence because I’m making a birthday gift or a sign or some silly whatever to amuse a friend. It is disposable creativity and so a Flair on notebook paper will work as well as a brush and canvas. Sure it won’t last through the ages, but it doesn’t need to.

The Inner Critic is so easy to fool sometimes.

Posted by kuri at December 17, 2009 05:10 PM


I came across your site from your sister’s posting of your christmas tree. I love this and can’t agree more. I find I have to trick myself into thinking I’m just noodling around—noting specific—just playing. Then I do my best work.

Thanks for the tree!

Posted by: karen on December 21, 2009 10:17 PM
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