Negative self-talk is devastating to the creative spirit. You can draw a portrait and criticize it until the cows come home and then never draw again because you “just aren’t good enough.” STOP! Having a negative inner voice always criticizing your art isn’t just bad for your self-esteem and drawing confidence, it can have lasting affects on whether you enjoy drawing or hate it and never try again.
Do you hear that little voice in you head, after you’ve drawn something, and it says things like, “This is ugly,” “This drawing stinks,” “I have no talent.”? That is the negative self talk creeping its way into your creativity. So what can you do to stop that annoying voice in your head? SWITCH to constructive talk.
Constructive talk is just that, constructive. It’s more accurate and specific than negative talk and actually helps you improve your skill set.
For example, that negative voice in your head will say things like, “That arm doesn’t look right.” Does that help you improve your drawing? No! Instead, try to switch to more constructive talk like, “What is the overall shape of the arm?”
“Is the shoulder more horizontal or slightly tilted?”
“How is the hand positioned?”
“How far away is the arm from the body?”
Do you see the difference in the two types of talk? Don’t listen to that critical voice in your head when you draw. If you find yourself descending into the depths of negative self-talk, catch it, recognize it, and consciously switch to more constructive words.
Instead try this, FOCUS on your subject. Look more at your subject than at your paper. This will help squash the critical voice because you are concentrating on your subject, NOT the critic in your head. Use more descriptive words as you draw and stay away from opinions. Negative self-talk is full of opinions rather than objective, accurate descriptions. Use adjectives and nouns to describe and construct your subject in your head. Ask yourself objective questions pertaining to capturing your subject rather than commenting what you “think” your art should look like. Change that negative into a positive and watch your art improve as well as your attitude towards drawing!