Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative Info

Fan Club Reviews of best titles on art fashion, artists, history, photography. Check out our top reviews and see what others have to say about the best art and photography books of the year. Check out Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative Community Reviews - Find out where to download Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative available in multiple formats:Hardcover,Audible Audiobook,Kindle,MP3 CD Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative Author:Danielle Krysa,Martha Rich Formats:Hardcover,Audible Audiobook,Kindle,MP3 CD Publication Date:Oct 11, 2016


This book is duct tape for the mouth of every artist's inner
critic. Silencing that stifling voice once and for all, this salve for
creatives introduces ten truths they must face in order to defeat
self-doubt. Each encouraging chapter deconstructs a pivotal moment on
the path to success—fear of the blank page, the dangers of
jealousy, sharing work with others—and explains how to navigate
roadblock. Packed with helpful anecdotes, thoughts from successful
creatives, and practical exercises gleaned from Danielle Krysa's years
of working with professional and aspiring artists—plus riotously
apt illustrations from art world darling Martha Rich—this book
arms readers with the most essential tool for their toolbox: the
confidence they need to get down to business and make good work.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative:

4

Feb 18, 2017

A succinct guide to owning your creativity and overcoming negative thoughts. The ten chapters focus on a variety of common creative hurdles: finding inspiration, conqueringself-doubt, ending the excuses, handling jealousy, dealing with critics, beginning again after failure, building a support system, and beating creative block. It's filled with tips, anecdotes from professionals, exercises to spark your creativity, inspiring quotes, and whimsical illustrations.

“Don’t think about making art, A succinct guide to owning your creativity and overcoming negative thoughts. The ten chapters focus on a variety of common creative hurdles: finding inspiration, conquering self-doubt, ending the excuses, handling jealousy, dealing with critics, beginning again after failure, building a support system, and beating creative block. It's filled with tips, anecdotes from professionals, exercises to spark your creativity, inspiring quotes, and whimsical illustrations.

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

A few points are reiterated throughout the book: (1) Everyone is creative and anyone can be an artist. (2) Don't be afraid to label yourself as an artist. (3) All artists have creative struggles, even accomplished artists that we admire. Much of the advice relates to collage art and painting, but Danielle Krysa interviews people from a variety of fields, including acting and writing. Artists in any specialty will be able to relate to the stories within and mold the advice to their own experience. My two creative pursuits (graphic design and quilting) couldn't be more different in practice, but the mind game is 100% the same. One of my favorite chapters was "Blank Paper Can Be Blinding." Cutting into a whole piece of fabric or staring at a blank screen can be paralyzing. The endless possibilities are overwhelming! Krysa includes ten ideas for relieving the pressure and conquering a blank page.

My biggest creative roadblock is usually getting started, so the recommendations for artistic warm-ups were especially helpful. Krysa encourages you to form daily habits, like a photo-a-day project. A daily project makes creation part of your everyday life, so that you're always present enough to see the inspiration all around you. Even if these exercises have nothing to do with your primary goal, it might be just what you need to jump-start your creativity. Sometimes it's tough to get inspired to work on your big project. That's not an excuse to do nothing! Krysa suggests procrastinating with purpose by doing some creative housekeeping. For me, that might be cutting fabric for a quilt or learning a new Photoshop technique. These are tasks that have helped me overcome creative block in the past, but I haven't considered making them part of my routine.

“Developing a thick skin is not about crushing that part of you that is sensitive and open to the world—that’s the part that makes you need to create. But what defines that “thick skin” and makes you a professional is your ability to keep putting yourself out there in spite of the inevitable rejection, embarrassment, and moments of feeling out-of-place.” - Autumn Reeser

Krysa has a healthy attitude towards criticism: "Turn criticism into creative fuel." Criticism isn't always helpful. It can be cruel or simply a matter of opinion. There are tips for not taking that type of criticism to heart. However, sometimes we can get so close to our art that we can lose all objectivity. Constructive criticism can help take a project to the next level or direct you towards a better path. It may take a bit of translation to read behind the lines and find the helpful advice, but it's a worthwhile exercise. There's also advice for confronting the worst critic--yourself. This book forced me to rethink my bad habit of pointing out the flaws in my projects. Krysa is right; it really does become like a “protective shield against criticism.” Being able to critique your own work is an important part of the process, but there's no reason to point out your findings to everyone!

Think of this process as a cycle. When you finish one thing successfully, it doesn’t mean that you’re done, and it definitely doesn’t mean that everything from here on out will be easy.  

Stop pressuring yourself to create a masterpiece and just create! I've heard many of the tips before, but it's helpful to be reminded. I wouldn't read it from cover-to-cover again, but it's structured perfectly for revisiting. I can flip to the relevant section for a quick kick in the right direction. An encouraging voice goes a long way to getting be back on track when I’m feeling overwhelmed or dejected. Your Inner Critic is a Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative would be a thoughtful gift for a beginning artist or someone who is on the cusp of something great. It's a quick read--I read it in two hours while waiting for jury duty to start--but it's filled with useful information that inspired me to go make something. For more tips on making the most of your creative life, you may enjoy Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.

I received this book for free from LibraryThings Early Reviewers Program in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It’s available now!


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3

Jan 01, 2017

A quirky little book about how to inspire your own creativity and how to use your inner negative voice to its best advantage. Martha Rich's art elevates what is actually rather simple text, but, on a more positive note, it is a quick read for those who may be short on time.

I couldn't help but draw similarities between this book and Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best, which I read last week. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk deals with the sensitive parts of the creative process and A quirky little book about how to inspire your own creativity and how to use your inner negative voice to its best advantage. Martha Rich's art elevates what is actually rather simple text, but, on a more positive note, it is a quick read for those who may be short on time.

I couldn't help but draw similarities between this book and Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best, which I read last week. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk deals with the sensitive parts of the creative process and breaking through your fears about how your art will be received. Unmistakable is more about why you need to create the art that only you can create and how a bunch of different artists have managed to do just that. But, if you're looking to jump start your creativity this year, pick up both of these because they actually complement each other fairly well.

One of my take-aways from Your Inner Critic is that it is never too late to start doing what you do: "Far too often, people tell me, "I wish I hadn't given up on art [or dancing, acting, writing, music], but it's too late now." What! Why? I don't believe that for a second. Many amazingly talented people didn't hit their stride until their thirties, forties, or later." pg 20 And Krysa goes on to list such luminaries as van Gogh, Money, and Julia Child. Can you believe that!

Even if you didn't go to school to learn whatever art you feel compelled to create, you are still an artist. I've been pricked by that negative inner whisper once or twice and it was cathartic to learn that I'm not alone in that struggle and to finally put it to rest: "If you want to learn something new, go learn something new. Set yourself up to get this new skill in whichever way suits you best. You are what you know, regardless of when and where you did the learning." pg 45

Some further reading: Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best or Creativity: The Perfect Crime ...more
4

Dec 31, 2016

This book is basically a shorter, breezier version of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear--with some quirky illustrations thrown in. In other words, it's wonderful.

In ten chapters, author Danielle Krysa outlines ten ways you can silence your inner critic and more freely let your creative light shine. Some of her tips are more inspirational than concrete, but I found all of them relevant and useful in some way. Most of them center on the importance of acknowledging your This book is basically a shorter, breezier version of Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear--with some quirky illustrations thrown in. In other words, it's wonderful.

In ten chapters, author Danielle Krysa outlines ten ways you can silence your inner critic and more freely let your creative light shine. Some of her tips are more inspirational than concrete, but I found all of them relevant and useful in some way. Most of them center on the importance of acknowledging your identity as an artist and committing to creating every day.

Krysa also includes stories and interviews with other artists who have struggled with shaky self-confidence resulting from harsh criticism (both public and personal). There are relevant quotes sprinkled throughout, too, that offer some comfort, understanding, and reassurance to the creative-but-discouraged soul.

Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk is a quick read but a good one. If you liked Big Magic, you should enjoy this one, too.

See more of my reviews at www.BugBugBooks.com. ...more
4

Apr 14, 2018

“Labels are for canned peaches, not humans.”

I snagged this #Audible deal a few days ago on a $2 whim. I’m really happy I did! It’s a short (just under 3 hours), but feel-good type of self help-ish book for creative folks. I’ve always felt myself as pretty creative and crafty, but not necessarily as an artist. This book provides some good advice and perspective. It hit me at a good time.
2

Dec 13, 2016

I expected more after loving the title. A beginning artist might find some helpful tips. Other than that . . .

1. While the author tries to include all creative people, it's geared toward artists.

2. The overuse and misuse of the comma irritated the OCD editor in me.

3. Mark Twain suggested substituting the word "damn" whenever you're inclined to write "very." He said your editor will strike it out and your writing will be just as it should be. Krysa might like to try this with a few different I expected more after loving the title. A beginning artist might find some helpful tips. Other than that . . .

1. While the author tries to include all creative people, it's geared toward artists.

2. The overuse and misuse of the comma irritated the OCD editor in me.

3. Mark Twain suggested substituting the word "damn" whenever you're inclined to write "very." He said your editor will strike it out and your writing will be just as it should be. Krysa might like to try this with a few different words, but with "very" in particular. If the word you choose isn't strong enough unless you tack "very" or something similar in front of it, you need a different word. Even when my children were young, they learned to count how many times they'd used a word in a story or essay and edit it.

4. Krysa's whole premise is that she is an artist because she learned to ignore her inner critic. Why did someone else illustrate this book?

5. The book looks organized at first glance, but repeats information and jumps around. Feels like some of the writing was rushed just to get something on paper.

6. More originality and fewer cliches would have been nice.

7. Sticking with a central metaphor would have been nice also.

8. Some of the inspirational quotes are good, but easy enough to find with a quick Internet search. Instead of grouping a bunch together in chapter eight, it would have worked to lead each chapter with a relevant quote. Sometimes she did that, sometimes not. Consistency is a helpful organizational tool.

9. When referring back to a chapter, the chapter number is all we need. (Not sure why she kept announcing the titles of chapters.)

10. This book would have worked better streamlined as an online essay with a tighter focus.

Now, given all that, I'm glad Krysa says she's learned to ignore not only her inner critic, but some outside ones. I'm not out to hurt her feelings. However, if she writes another book, I hope she will be open to the advice above.

And to show I'm not a nitpicking grump of an old writer, I will end with a point she made that I like. When asking adults if they are artists, she is often met with a blank look or resistance. When asking children, however:

Me (Krysa): "Are you an artist?"
Kid: "Yes."

Some things are simple. Let's learn to accept our creativity. ...more
4

Nov 21, 2016

Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk is a blunt yet pleasant self-help book for anyone in the creative arts. Krysa writes as someone who has personally experienced artistic blocks--in fact, giving up on art entirely due to a professor's harsh criticism--and the whole book has a vibe of a friend taking your hand to talk sense into you.

The book itself is well-made and would work well on a coffee table. It's hardcover, with a front cover that is enough by itself to make a person smile. The design Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk is a blunt yet pleasant self-help book for anyone in the creative arts. Krysa writes as someone who has personally experienced artistic blocks--in fact, giving up on art entirely due to a professor's harsh criticism--and the whole book has a vibe of a friend taking your hand to talk sense into you.

The book itself is well-made and would work well on a coffee table. It's hardcover, with a front cover that is enough by itself to make a person smile. The design inside is, again, friendly. Pages are not filled with text and there are frequent, colorful illustrations. It's a fast read because there do tend to just be a couple paragraphs to a page--the blank space is soothing, but the author also encourages people to use the space to make notes. There are a few areas where there are activities or questions, but it's not hardcore in that way.

As an author with a loud inner critic, I found the book encouraging without being obnoxious as some books like this are. I'd consider getting this for author friends who were struggling through Imposter Syndrome and other similar afflictions. ...more
5

Jul 26, 2019

This book is like having a visit from my old art friend from college. This book is honest, relatable and funny. Danielle Kyrsa shares a personal experience that nearly stopped her from ever making art again but now uses the story to share how she healed and grew into the artist and writer she is today. She exposes the negative voice inside our heads that blocks and hinders our creative thinking and creating. She warns artist, writers, chefs, musicians, dancers, anyone who makes things that the “ This book is like having a visit from my old art friend from college. This book is honest, relatable and funny. Danielle Kyrsa shares a personal experience that nearly stopped her from ever making art again but now uses the story to share how she healed and grew into the artist and writer she is today. She exposes the negative voice inside our heads that blocks and hinders our creative thinking and creating. She warns artist, writers, chefs, musicians, dancers, anyone who makes things that the “Inner Critic” does not have the power we give it. She gives suggestions like, make the ugliest thing you can come up with, on purpose, get in to a daily practice to make and do not allow yourself (or your Inner Critic) to talk you out of it, and my favorite one is to have art parties. Art parties are for a very selective group of friends that you trust to tell you the truth. We need to hear truth, louder than our Inner Critic. This quirky book is playful and has pictures in it. She reminds us to also be playful and childlike when making. Overall, I enjoyed reading it and I think my students would as well. ...more
5

Feb 07, 2018

This book was so inspiring!!! The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking about different people I wanted to give it to, so they could be inspired too! However I will be keeping this copy because I see myself picking it back up in the future! Also the book is filled with Martha Rich's paintings and I love her artwork!!!!! This book was so inspiring!!! The whole time I was reading it I kept thinking about different people I wanted to give it to, so they could be inspired too! However I will be keeping this copy because I see myself picking it back up in the future! 😉 Also the book is filled with Martha Rich's paintings and I love her artwork!!!!! ...more
3

Aug 06, 2017

I enjoyed reading this book, however it basically said all the things I already knew (typical for an advice book). The illustrations were super cute. I might be trying to be a bit more creative now I enjoyed reading this book, however it basically said all the things I already knew (typical for an advice book). The illustrations were super cute. I might be trying to be a bit more creative now 😊 ...more
5

Oct 28, 2017

I really needed to read this right now, and I feel a bit emotional now.
4

May 31, 2017

1) "These are a few of the most common labels that we slap on and may have a hard time seeing beyond; but, as you will see, there is so much more to each of us than these one-liners. Acknowledging, and owning, these labels is the first step in transforming them from creativity-halting excuses into a fascinating part of your unique story: You may be a parent from a small town who is also an insanely talented painter, or a self-taught musician who works in a cubicle by day and plays in blues clubs 1) "These are a few of the most common labels that we slap on and may have a hard time seeing beyond; but, as you will see, there is so much more to each of us than these one-liners. Acknowledging, and owning, these labels is the first step in transforming them from creativity-halting excuses into a fascinating part of your unique story: You may be a parent from a small town who is also an insanely talented painter, or a self-taught musician who works in a cubicle by day and plays in blues clubs at night. Decide which part of the fine print you're proud of and which bits are slowing you down."

2) [Kim Werker] "'We hear so much these days about how valuable failure is, about how we should embrace it as a growth and learning opportunity. And, sure, failure's great, but it's great after the fact (and, let's be totally honest, sometimes it's only great after a decade, or after therapy, or both). Nobody goes into starting a project---whether it's small, like a sketchbook spread or a journal entry, or huge, like writing a book, preparing for a gallery show, or scoring a film---thinking about how valuable it might be to fail. That would be nuts.
'Of course, you can play the mind trickery of telling yourself that the brand-new project will be an amazing experience no matter how it turns out. But that's still an exhausting amount of mind trickery. I know, because that used to be the way I went into a project when I was in a cold sweat, staring at a blank page. I was a master mind-tricker. Not the most impressive skill to boast.
'Now, I just throw one project under the bus right off the bat. I make something that's intentionally ugly. Grotesque, even. Because that's what an epic failure would be, right? So I make something totally revolting, and then I gloat a little over how capable I am of spectacularly failing, and then I start over, knowing that whatever it is I do from that point forward will have to be better than my ugly thing.
'That knowledge is freeing, my friends. And free is a fabulous way to feel at the very beginning of a project.'"

3) [Dealing with the inner critic] "Step One: Identify 'The Voice' -- It's important to acknowledge that this voice is not part of you. It's a collection of negative words and experiences that derive from external sources. That voice doesn't belong in your head, unless it can learn to support you.
Step Two: Pinpoint the Attack -- What, and when, is your inner critic attacking? Unless you pay attention to this, it may feel like your inner critic is there 24/7, but I can almost guarantee that that's not the case. It preys on insecurity."

4) "All of these quick experiments are both beginnings and endings. Think of this process as a cycle. When you finish one thing successfully, it doesn't mean that you're done, and it definitely doesn't mean that everything from here on out will be easy. Even the creative greats are always still learning, hitting roadblocks, trying again, evolving their work. Wouldn't it be boring, anyway, to master your craft in the first week? Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and never not be making, trying new things, picking those crumpled pages off the floor. The art show, the published novel, the hit song is not the 'success.' Those events are just the celebration and the cherry on top of all your hard work. True success is loving the process, being creative every day, and failing like a genius.

'When we stop fearing failure, we start being artists.' -Ann Voskamp, Author" ...more
4

Mar 05, 2018

This book helped pump me up for more manuscript writing to come, and helped give me various ideas to shush the mean, never ending critique in my brain! I especially loved the ending part where it emphasized that failing hard is actually a way to succeed because it gives clarity and direction. Once I actually give more effort to my many writing projects, I plan to read her Creative Blocks book! This book helped pump me up for more manuscript writing to come, and helped give me various ideas to shush the mean, never ending critique in my brain! I especially loved the ending part where it emphasized that failing hard is actually a way to succeed because it gives clarity and direction. Once I actually give more effort to my many writing projects, I plan to read her Creative Blocks book! ❤️ ...more
4

Apr 09, 2018

It’s a quick read (3 hours) with several tips. I wanted to give it a three because I’ve *mostly* heard this all before (see You Are A Badass book and/or Creative Block book), but others may not have heard these “go get ‘em” tips for artists and creatives ... and may need them! It’s a far less attractive book than her other two. I’d borrow it at library buy it for less than $5 on audible (sometimes on sale).

There are some great practices and useful advice here. If you’ve read Creative Block, you It’s a quick read (3 hours) with several tips. I wanted to give it a three because I’ve *mostly* heard this all before (see You Are A Badass book and/or Creative Block book), but others may not have heard these “go get ‘em” tips for artists and creatives ... and may need them! It’s a far less attractive book than her other two. I’d borrow it at library buy it for less than $5 on audible (sometimes on sale).

There are some great practices and useful advice here. If you’ve read Creative Block, you may be fine to skip this entirely. ...more
3

Apr 17, 2018

It is kind of ironic to write a not-good review on a book that speak about mainly about negative voices. The only thing that saved the irony is that mainly the book speaks about the negative voices that we have within our own selves. However, unfortunately, this book didn't have something that would make me say, this time was well spent.
4

Jan 01, 2018

This is a great book for any creative person who is struggling to get back into or continue their creative process! There are so many helpful tips, tricks, and spirit lifters in this book. After reading it I feel more ready to tackle my art making goals for 2018!
4

Apr 27, 2019

Loved this book! So many good ideas about the needs of creative minds, breaking through blocks, dealing with the critical voice, and finding time for creativity...Highly recommend!!!
4

Jul 17, 2018

This is an informal little book about taming one’s inner critic. Several methods are suggested to rid negative self-talk that sets up blocks in front of one’s creativity.
2

Oct 23, 2017

One sentence summary: We all think we are less creative than we are, so just get over yourself and do stuff. (I was hoping for a bit more.)
5

Jan 20, 2017

Overall I enjoyed this book. Practical tips for overcoming inner obstacles. Has given me a lot to think about why I quit art for so many years. Quick read.
3

Mar 14, 2017

If you haven't been at the Art Game long, and suddenly find yourself stymied by your inner voice yammering (aka lying) to you then this book will probably help. Not a lot of new stuff to add to an already loaded genre. But. I did enjoy reading other artist experiences. The prompts were good and that Danielle left generous room in the margins and even some blank pages to take notes.
4

Feb 06, 2017

(from my video review on Artist Strong)

There's a secret that most artists don't realize: creative block and that pesky inner critic is something we all experience as a creative.

Hi, my name is Carrie and today on Artist Strong I'm sharing my top ten takeaways from the book Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

The first takeaway is that everyone experiences moments and feelings of insecurity when it comes to their art and their creation process.

Danielle Krysa opens the entire book by (from my video review on Artist Strong)

There's a secret that most artists don't realize: creative block and that pesky inner critic is something we all experience as a creative.

Hi, my name is Carrie and today on Artist Strong I'm sharing my top ten takeaways from the book Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa.

The first takeaway is that everyone experiences moments and feelings of insecurity when it comes to their art and their creation process.

Danielle Krysa opens the entire book by talking about her feelings of being an imposter as she wrote this book about creative block and dealing with your inner critic. The irony of this is she's written a book about creative block! Danielle talks about that and how that feeling of imposter came out in that book. Yet, we value her work, and the work that she's done with The Jealous Curator, and the exhibitions that she's curated.

All of these things have elevated her in the eyes of her audience and other people because she's out there doing the work. Even someone who's out there working, making art and sharing themselves as she is can feel insecurity. It's nice to know that we're not alone, and it's important for all of us to consider how we can then cope with it, if it's part of our creative process.

Another piece of advice Krysa offers in this book Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk, is to reconnect with your inner child.

She talks about how as children if you're asked if you're an artist, there's no hesitation, kids just say yes. As adults, if she asks that question, people are hedging, they're trying to qualify what it means to be an artist. We have discomfort around using that word.

So, what can we do and what activities can we participate in that would help us reconnect with that sense of play and discovery that was free of judgement? We didn't always judge, something happened in our lives that made us start assessing our work. Danielle offers activities in the book to help you reconnect with that inner child of yours.

The third takeaway that I have for you is that you choose to be creative, or you choose not to be creative. This is your choice.

Danielle shares that with us with a personal story of her own. She talks about how when she was in one of her final critiques for, I believe a BFA in painting, that she was told by her professor that she should never paint again. It's the culminating part of your degree program, you've been studying it for years, and a professor, obviously someone that we hold in a place of esteem or we put on a pedestal at times, literally tells her she should never paint again.

For years she didn't paint, and she came to realize that it wasn't his fault, it was hers because she was choosing to listen to him despite an inner desire to still explore the arts.

The fourth takeaway that I have for you is about the school of life. Danielle Krysa uses this phrase in her book and I really appreciate it because there are a lot of artists who wonder "Should I have a degree? Do I need a BFA? Do I need a MFA? Is something wrong with me if I'm self-taught? Am I missing something?"

We can have a lot of discomfort around this kind of conversation and feel like there's a right and wrong way to answer this question. It doesn't matter what kind of experience you have, the real issue is that imposter feeling again. Is it us wondering if we're good enough, rather that just using the skills and resources and tools that we've developed?

I have an example for you that's personal. I, for the longest time, felt like that my Bachelor's degree in Art and Art History, which was a degree in both studio art and art history, put me at a disadvantage to artists who have a full studio program because they had more time in the studio.

For a long time, and sometimes even still, my inner critic calls out and suggests that perhaps I'm not skillful enough. Ask yourself how do you deal with that notion of school of life; do you put down your self taught nature, or do you celebrate it? Do you put down your education, or do you celebrate it? Let's realize that each of us can contribute in our own way, and our unique life experience is part of the reason we make the art that we do.

The fifth tip is a practical one that is simple and yet I hadn't really thought about it before, but who says you have to work on a blank canvas?

Danielle Krysa describes how artists can feel it's scary to make those first marks on a blank surface. She talked to artists who said, "Well fine, I'm not going to use a blank surface. If I feel that kind of intimidation or insecurity around that work, then why not start on something that already has marks on it?"

Some people find books at thrift stores or old canvas to work on. Some people work on paint by numbers, it's up to you. There's no limit except the limit we put in our mind about the materials that we use and how we can start.

My number six takeaway is to use your jealousy. You should harness any jealousy you feel of other people and their art to help you better and improve your work.

Danielle Krysa is the perfect example of this, I'm so glad that she acknowledges this in this book. The Jealous Curator was born because she was feeling jealous about not making herself. The whole history of her online presence, which is so powerful and positive today, is because she was feeling jealous of others and decided to acknowledge it.

She learned about them and asked them questions about their work. Not only has she made wonderful connections and shared those experiences with all of us, she's actually made more art now, because of the lessons she's learned from having those dialogues and engaging with those people. Your jealousy can be channeled into a positive action, it's up to you to make that choice.

My seventh takeaway for today is that your inner critic is never going to fully disappear.

I don't know a single artist that has an absence of inner critic. You can, however, find tools and strategies to help you cope with your inner critic. If you know that you have an inner critic you struggle to cope with, then this book is a great resource for you. She gives you strategies, ideas, she brainstorms things, and she also empathizes with all of us, because she's been there too.

Number eight in today's top ten takeaways is that there's only one kind of failure, in her book and in mine, and that is if you choose not to create.

If you make art that you don't like, you shouldn't label it as a failure. That art is informing all of the other future art that you make. The only failure in my eyes, and from my reading of this book, is a choice not to make.

If your heart is calling for you to make art, then you should be making art. Something Danielle notes is that when we make this bad art, it actually opens doors to new ideas, it lets us experiment, and it lets us get to the good stuff. It lets us find our artist's voice, and obviously that's something we're all seeking to develop and refine as creatives.

Number nine in our top ten takeaways is community is very important for artists.

A lot of us work in a vacuum: we work by ourselves in a creative space, we have a little studio or a little table area, and when our family is away or we have some quiet time, we're working on our own. While we need that alone time to do our work, we also need time to connect with other artists.

We need to be around other artists who we feel safe around who can give us useful feedback to help us improve our art. That's one reason I've built a community like Artist Strong is I know a lot of us feel like we can't find those connections. Danielle Krysa has also built it with The Jealous Curator. She's got a wonderful community of artists who share, discover, grow and learn together. This has come from her books as well as her showcase of different artists around the world.

My last takeaway from this book Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk is that you need to find your best system to unblock and to get making.

For example, Danielle Krysa mentions that as a collage artist, some days she's just not feeling it and all the stuff she makes is making her cranky and she knows she's going to throw it away. It's actually okay and part of the process. She knows if she's feeling especially stuck, that going through all of the books that she has as resources for collage and cutting out figures and images from them can get her going. Then she has some resources so when she's feeling like making she can get going and just make and often doing that triggers ideas for her.

You need to figure out what strategies work best for you. Some people need to go outside and go for a walk, or if it's snowing outside go for a cross country ski. What's going to help you reconnect and disconnect a bit from that inner critic but reconnect to the art that you want to make?

Thanks for watching today. I really encourage you to pick up your own copy of Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa. I really enjoyed it, it was an easy read, I felt like I was having a conversation with her and I learned a lot. It has wonderful activities that you can learn from and apply to your artist life. ...more
4

May 29, 2018

Last semester I took an online class in public speaking. (I had to make a bunch of videos - it wasn't pretty.) For my last speech I had to choose from a list of character traits and values. I chose creativity because it's something that fascinates me, mostly because I have to keep convincing myself that it's something I possess despite my lack of demonstrable artistic ability. In my speech I made the claim that A) Everyone is creative and B) Creativity is important for everyone, including Last semester I took an online class in public speaking. (I had to make a bunch of videos - it wasn't pretty.) For my last speech I had to choose from a list of character traits and values. I chose creativity because it's something that fascinates me, mostly because I have to keep convincing myself that it's something I possess despite my lack of demonstrable artistic ability. In my speech I made the claim that A) Everyone is creative and B) Creativity is important for everyone, including accountants and C) You can increase your creativity with a few simple tips. The funny thing is that I knew that's what I believed long before I did a lick of research. When I did my research it turned out that I was 100% right, not something I get to say very often. Turns out that this book said much the same thing but with more words.

The major takeaway from this book is that you are creative and you better stop saying you're not. Thanks, Danielle, for backing me up because that's exactly what I said! She has some great ideas for taming your inner critic and finding time and room to nurture your creative side. It's a book I'd like to return to once in a while to remind myself that I deserve to be creative and I don't need to be a great painter like my mom or a genius like my dad to qualify for my creativity badge.

If I have one complaint about the book is its focus on the arts, especially visual mediums. Not all art is creative and not all creativity is art. You can be a creative ditch digger or CEO and you can be an uncreative painter. Creativity is a trait separate from its outlet. Some accountants are more creative than some musicians, and not always in a bad way. I lean heavily on creativity in my programming and database development. The author does mention once or twice that creativity isn't just about art and writing, but most of her examples came back to those, probably because that's where she excels. It's not her fault that some of us are more creative in Excel than we are with paint.

It's a good book, much better than my speech, and I recommend it. Four rainbow glitter stars. ...more
4

Sep 02, 2018

This book identifies common blocks and stopping points for creatives, from jealousy to negative self-talk, and then offers solutions. The book also provides a few small anecdotes into the author's life, but that takes a backseat to the tips and tricks on offer.

Pros:
- The tips, tricks, and short-cuts on offer were both practical and useful.
- The book leaves ample space in the margins for note-taking; the author comments on this, noting it was a purposeful choice
- The book is short and to the This book identifies common blocks and stopping points for creatives, from jealousy to negative self-talk, and then offers solutions. The book also provides a few small anecdotes into the author's life, but that takes a backseat to the tips and tricks on offer.

Pros:
- The tips, tricks, and short-cuts on offer were both practical and useful.
- The book leaves ample space in the margins for note-taking; the author comments on this, noting it was a purposeful choice
- The book is short and to the point, and can be read in a day or two.

Cons:
- Sometimes I felt the tips were most useful or directly applicable to visual artists. The tips can be adapted for all types of artists with a bit of creativity, however.
- [nit-pick] The author had a habit of over-using certain words, such as the various permutations of "insane"

Conclusion:
This is a good little book to keep around when you need a creative pick-me-up. I'm glad I read it, and will be keeping it as a part of my collection. ...more
3

May 14, 2018

Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative by Danielle Krysa is a quick and inoffensive read that teaches some information and gives advice about being creative, and, in a way, it has its own charm. If you've had a few good people in your life who believe in your success and helped you along, then you will probably know most of the lessons this book will teach from the outset. But, if you feel as though you always wanted to get something done, but held yourself back, Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative by Danielle Krysa is a quick and inoffensive read that teaches some information and gives advice about being creative, and, in a way, it has its own charm. If you've had a few good people in your life who believe in your success and helped you along, then you will probably know most of the lessons this book will teach from the outset. But, if you feel as though you always wanted to get something done, but held yourself back, this book might be useful to you. At times I felt like the book didn't really know what its audience was, and there were moments when it lost me completely, but I suppose some might just consider that one of its quirks.

I give it a 75, but your mileage will vary. ...more
2

Apr 18, 2018

Got this in an audible sale and thought it might provide a nice perk to some rough spots I've been in recently. The 'advice', is roughly the same vein as telling depressed people to 'cheer up' and poor people to 'get money'. The author cheerfuly just tells you to power through your current inadequacies by assuming you aren't inadequate after all. Almost all the advice boiled down to 'if you feel you are terrible at art, create more art'. It's not harmful advice, but it certainly isn't terribly Got this in an audible sale and thought it might provide a nice perk to some rough spots I've been in recently. The 'advice', is roughly the same vein as telling depressed people to 'cheer up' and poor people to 'get money'. The author cheerfuly just tells you to power through your current inadequacies by assuming you aren't inadequate after all. Almost all the advice boiled down to 'if you feel you are terrible at art, create more art'. It's not harmful advice, but it certainly isn't terribly helpful. ...more

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