Sarcasm Central

Art and Self Criticism

Just a FYI that Angst is featured over at the Book Maven today.  She was kind enough to read my novel and do a review.  Check out her page here to see what she thought…

Angst Art - Victoria SawyerWhen I first started writing Angst, I had a certain book cover in mind.  It was a piece of artwork, something I had created in college when I was at my lowest point.  The piece itself didn’t actually work exactly for my novel but I decided to redo it with my novel in mind.  So I spent quite a bit of time recreating this piece of artwork that had been like therapy for me at the time of my breakdown.  It was a revisiting of black charcoal, a revisiting of those feelings.

I didn’t end up including the art in my final novel, although I did play around with the idea of inserting it as a picture in the ebook.  However, in the end I took it out.  But I thought maybe I’d share it here with you.  This was my abstract Angst, my therapy, my biz-art as my parents used to call it.  Art had always been a good way for me to release how I was feeling.  And I liked things that were strange, strange faces, strange, deep emotions.  I wanted to express myself.  Writing has actually taken over more these days than art.  I think for some reason I feel less inhibited with words than I do with drawing.  Lately though, I feel stifled, I feel like I can’t create freely without criticizing my own work.  The judgements start as soon as I put pen/pencil/charcoal to paper.  Although I did create a painting for my wedding that came out quite good.  But it depends on what the art is for.  If it’s about recreating something, or seeing something in front of me, like a still life I can go to town. If it’s coming from my brain or my emotions, that’s another matter and I always seem to freeze up.

I want to create but the white page is scary.  I’ve heard that quote somewhere, that the white page/blank slate is the scariest place for an artist to be and I completely agree.  It’s the same with the idea of starting a new book.  The white page, the blinking cursor is scary.  It feels like there is all this pressure to create something amazing or that since you’ve done it before it should be easier.  And eventually you do get past the hump and I think often times you can outdo yourself and come up with something that is better than whatever has come before, but starting the process and stopping the criticism is the first step.  You have to free your mind, just let the words flow, the paint flow, and something will emerge.  This is advice I need to take for myself.  It’s okay to just let it happen, to not control, to not expect perfection the very first time.  Because if you expect perfection, you will never achieve anything.

I’ve actually started writing a bit on my second novel about Victoria.  I have to keep reminding myself to write what I know.  Write the parts that are there now and the rest will follow.  We’ll see…

About Victoria Sawyer (283 Articles)
Victoria Sawyer is a blogger, author, graphic designer, social media enthusiast and mental health advocate. Shocking, honest, sarcastic and humorous, Victoria aims to make readers feel tangible emotions and physical sensations through writing that brings you into the mind and body of someone suffering from panic attacks, anxiety and this strange often darkly hilarious thing we call life. She published her novel Angst in 2013, which realistically and often graphically depicts life with mental illness. Along with crazy blogging, Victoria enjoys reading historical novels, playing with her naughty cats, engaging in rants and metaphysical existential meltdowns and using punctuation to excess in everything she writes.

2 Comments on Art and Self Criticism

  1. I love your picture it makes me think and look, and well make me happy, not sure why. As soon as I opened the email had to come and see it. Don’t doubt yourself you have talent, that there is no doubt!



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