Is it bad I’m self-critical?


I’m an artist and i’ve been self-critical of whatever I make as long as I can remember. My boyfriend is upset at me right now and doesn’t want to see me right now. He said it’s because I never have anything positive to say and I’m always bringing myself down. I feel I do that because Im an artist and Im never satisfied with what I do, so I strive to make better.

Im terrified of losing him :(
Am I wrong to be self critical? How can I stop doing this?

Category: asked November 21, 2013

6 Answers

Being self-critical is good to some extent. It can be good to keep you motivated to do better, but you cant let it control your life. Gotta also look at the positives in your life which is easier said then done. Its easier to think about your mistakes then your accomplishments sometimes. Actually most of the time. It is hard to be accepting of yourself and your work, but you gotta bear it. Your boyfriend does have a point if your constantly critiquing yourself. Your better than you think :)
The fact that you've recognized that you are self-critical is the first step. I found, when I first started drawing, I often hated anything I created. Once I discovered that it wasn't the end product that was important but the process that got me there it helped me appreciate my own art. Being self critical isn't a bad thing, it just means you are more introspective than most and knowing yourself is the first step for personal growth :)
When we draw a circle, sometimes we draw it better than other times. The better a circle is drawn the more it looks like the ultimate, imagined circle, the idea of the circle. That idea is the prototype, and the prototype is always more real and perfect than the imitation. That's the reason you are so self critical of your work, because it never reaches your expectations, the original though that created your art.But that's what art is. The imitation of your thoughts and feelings on paper. The imitation of life itself. However, that is only from your own view point. Oscar Wilde in the preface of his book "The Picture of Dorian Gray" wrote "It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. ", meaning your art will work as a filter, as a prism through which the spectator will see himself. So therefore you don't have to be self critical. Let the spectators do that. This is why your boyfriend is so annoyed at you being so self critical.Hope that helped ;)
Part of being an artist is often being critical of yourself. This is because we feel that what we create is a reflection of ourselves and we need to give it our all. There are actors who refuse to watch their own performances. There are writers who are embarrassed by their own work. We want the best possible result, we want ourselves and others to be proud and for us to stand out among other wonderful artists. Some people are also more critical of themselves because they are introspective. They question and better themselves. If you leave it at "I could be so much better" without changing what you wish to change, that's not good. If you use "I could be better" to make positive change, that's good.

Some people bring this perfectionism into their relationships, and that can be unhealthy if the partner never feels good enough. It can also be dangerous if you appear to look down on yourself because we want to hang out with people who will bring us up, not people who are pitying themselves.
You can use your critical nature to your advantage to better yourself, so long as you realize that sometimes you have done your best and that that's okay. Perfectionism can be humored, just don't let it control your life and your endeavors.
Show and tell your boyfriend that you are willing to find a healthy balance between bettering yourself and perfectionism.
I find that there is a fine line between being constantly self-critical and self-condemnation. I've also found that being too self-critical can easily interrupt an artist's creative flow. Well, at least it does for me. I feel completely inhibited when I'm displeased with myself. Some pieces will be better than others. That is a given. But you need to allow yourself the room to experiment and make "mistakes" or it will never be a very enjoyable experience. And if there's no joy (at least on your part) then I fail to see the point in even creating art at all. It should be a release in some form. You can't over-think art. The best art comes in truly letting go which means you let go of even your inner critic and you lose yourself in that moment where it's just you and your creation. Art is raw. It is not controlled.You say you are never satisfied with what you do so you strive to make it better but in all that striving are you ever really satisfied? Why do you do this to yourself? Really ask yourself what goal you are trying to reach. Be honest with yourself. Do you want to be happy? In order to be happy you do have to love yourself. Perfection or "better" is a bit of an illusion. All you have is you. Art is simply the expression of the soul. That is what is beautiful about it.As far as your boyfriend goes - I'm not sure what to say there. I don't really know enough about him. I don't know if he truly cares for you are not. I think you should be more terrified of losing yourself than him at this point. Learn to respect yourself and admire the beauty living inside of you.
Thank you everyone-- Im going to try to improve on my outlook for everything as well as myself and my art :)Im also going to write a journal listing at least 3 positive things every day!