Friday, September 3, 2010

Is It Good?

DD8 was flipping through her art journal tonight and said, "I don't really like my art journal."

"Why not?" I asked.

"I don't know. I just don't think my art is very good. I don't really like it."

"Well, I like it!"  I replied.

"Really? Well, if I take some pictures of it, will you post them on your blog so other people can see the textures, and how the colours blend, and how shiny the shells are on the cross?"

Perhaps it was a test to see if I really DO like it enough to show it to other people.

Well, I do like it, and I'm proud to show you -- so here are the photos she took of her own work:

Was she really insecure about her art? If she was, why? Is that just how we are -- not sure if our work is good enough to be liked by others?

I know I've asked this before, but are you ever afraid the product of your creativity -- whatever it might be -- is not good? Where does that fear come from? How do we overcome it?


  1. Wow, Xinme, how old is your daughter? I LOVE her art - the colors in the first piece are especially beautiful!


  2. Lynda Barry wrote an amazing book about the creative process called "What It Is" and in it she says that the only two questions people have about their art is "Is it good, or does it suck?" She posits that we should ask lots of other questions about our work instead of just asking those two. I think you and your family would really like the book.

  3. Hey, I'm thrilled to "see" you here, Jennifer :) I will definitely look into that book. The fact that my mind initially came up blank when I tried to think of what OTHER questions we should ask is a good indication I need to read it! Thanks for telling me about it.

    Paper Princess -- she's 8 :) The first piece was a colour wheel exercise we did together with some friends for our Art Fair last winter. She was pleased with it then -- I'm not sure what made her question its value last night.

    Thank you both so much for stopping by and commenting!

  4. Wow! I think it's great that you are talking about art like this! I see awesome lines in her spiral creation! I would love to know more about it. It reminds me of something from nature. What's not to like? Does she tell you? Now that I'm out of school, I hide my art for a good couple of months before I'll show anyone. It needs time to settle I think. Sometimes you get really close to what you're making.

    Kids art is the best!

  5. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Erica -- and for the discussion going on over at your place ;)

    She can't articulate why she doesn't like her work sometimes (she usually does), except that it's not as "good" as others she's seen. But it doesn't stop her from creating, which makes me glad. I do try to be as encouraging as possible, without training her to NEED my encouragement, if that makes sense. I also try to show her how much I value her work by putting it up in our art room, and even incorporating some of her quick, play-around -with-a-medium work in my own art (since most of such work becomes a "gift" that was "made" for me ;) I truly hope she'll never lose her love of creating because she doesn't value her work enough.


Sincere responses . . .

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