Quinn McDonald is my "go to" author as far as my Inner Critic is concerned. She is a creativity coach who writes about the subject on her blog and the author of Raw Art Journaling: making meaning, making art. We´ve been e-mailing and commenting back and forth for a couple of years so when I was so overwhelmed after coming back from my summer holidays I wrote to her.
"Do you think overwhelm and Inner Critic are cousins or something? They have a vague family air and the same result."
Her answer came quick:
"Overwhelm and the IC are very close. Overwhelm is always a sign that the IC is running the show. If you’ve been gone and have come home and have a family to run and creative work to do, of course you would feel overwhelmed. But when you start to think that you are not well organized, or that you shouldn’t have left, THEN the IC has taken over."
In that case Barbie, that is my Inner Critic´s name, was really running the show and having a blast. I´m so looking forward to Quinn´s new book: Inner Hero Creative Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Silence your Inner Critic for more help on how to deal with her!
While I wait for my copy I invited Quinn to share more about her latest book.
Q: What’s the book about?
A: As a creative person, you are familiar with your inner critic--that nagging voice in your head that always points out your shortcomings. But there is a way for your to confront your inner critic. Your inner heroes are also always with you at your worktable.
Through the creation of your personal Inner Hero Creative Art Journal (a series of loose-leaf cards, each with a new mixed-media technique), you will invite an inner conversation that will allow your inner heroes to confront your inner critic for you.
Q: Is an inner hero like an alter ego?
A: In many ways, yes. But an alter ego is generally a persona very different from your real self. An inner hero is the parts of you that you are afraid to bring out because they are strong and headed toward your North Star (your life’s purpose) and that responsibility is sometimes hard to live up to. Our inner heroes are really the powerful parts of us that we aren’t ready to live up to.
Q: What are some inner heroes?
A: Your inner Scribe, Tarot Reader, Alchemist, Gardener and Wise Woman each long to be introduced to your inner critic and to show you a positive and more supportive perspective. But there are other inner heroes, too, ones that aren’t a profession, but simply a strength you may not be fully aware of—one who is both shy and bold, one who is plain and still distinctive, one who is optimistic.
Q: On these journal pages, do you draw these inner heroes?
A: I do not, no. I’m not an illustrator of people. I like working in abstract concepts, so my books are filled with mosaics that look like puzzles, ink techniques that speak to me, but are abstract, and collage.
Q: Are there writing exercises, too?
A: Yes, I was a writer before I thought of myself as an artist. My pages often incorporate ideas, quotes, poems on the art side. The back is always a message that helps me understand an inner hero, often metaphorically.
Q: How did you get the idea?
A: In my first book, Raw Art Journaling, I had suggestions for ignoring or banishing the inner critic. But I realized that when we throw the inner critic out of the studio, we have to keep one eye open for his return. That means we start to look and wait for the inner critic, which is a sure way to start giving him more power than he deserves. So I wondered what would happen if we confronted our inner critic. And I thought, “I’d have to hire someone to do that.” My next thought was “I’d have to hire a lot of other people,” and then I realized that the people I’d hire would have to know me—be my own best self.
I´m sure by now you want to ask your own Inner Heros to be your Valentines today! You can buy a copy of Inner Hero as a Valentine´s gift for yourself from yourself. Click here to go buy a copy. Go. I´ll wait for you, just as I am waiting for my own copy to arrive.
I would so LOVE to be there, specially since Quinn told me she will be reading the part I wrote for Chapter 1 as part of the launch. *über excited*. If you are going to be there say Hi to her from me! ~waves~