Women artists: how much is your work held back by the fear that you will be criticised and that this will hurt your sense of self worth?
Women have this double whammy of social conditioning which affects our creativity:
1). The lie that ourselves and our work are separate, that ‘taking it personally’ is a bad thing.
2) The lie that, as we are taking it personally, criticism means we are disliked as people.
As women are taught that likeability is a top life goal. This is a serious block.
Many artists overcome it by insisting that their work isn’t a part of them in any way. They push their art out of the nest before it can fly, they work without loving their work. This is disassociation.
Let me tell you: the work of my hands is as personal as it gets. Telling us to disconnect emotionally from our work is mechanistic, unnatural, patriarchal nonsense.
Let me tell you this, too: nobody has to like you or anything you make. It is not your job to ‘be liked’, it is not the job of art to be pleasing.
It is your job to ‘be you’.
It is your job to show up with love and create, lovingly and fiercely and without compromise.
It is art’s job to come into being in the mind of others, through marks, words, sounds.
The truth is that we can both love our work and see it as part of ourselves AND not associate our entire sense of worth based on whether anyone likes it or not.
That is the essence of non-attachment. To love and to let go.
All women know how to do this, instinctively, but we’ve been taught to forget how. For some of us that teaching didn’t ‘take’ and that’s wonderful – but I see it too often to ignore the fact that this is very real for many women.
Sit with that. What does that look like for you, as a creative woman, to embrace this idea?
If you are a creative woman who wants to connect in circle with other women to bring your art to the world (and make your living from your work), please take a look at The Spiral Forge – my small coaching circle.