Inner Hero Creative Art Journal

InnerHeroCoverThe Inner Hero Creative Art Journal: Mixed Media Messages to Your Inner Critic  is now out, available from my publisher, North Light. Now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and my favorite local independent bookstore, Changing Hands, in Tempe. You can phone them at 480.730.0205 and order the book.

We all have inner critics–those voices that tell us we can’t, we aren’t enough, we don’t have enough. And try as we may, we cannot outrun them or stop the voices from hissing through the hands we clap over our ears. Doubt returns.

For many, that’s the end. The Inner Critic wins. It was true for me, too. But then one day, I stepped outside of my own weak replies, and invented an alter ego–someone (I thought) not like me–strong and feisty and no-nonsense. This wise woman invited the inner critic over, sat down with him (my inner critic is a man) and had a conversation with him. Without the attachment, the ego, the fear, the conversation was quite different than the ones I had made up for myself.  I had created an inner hero to take on my inner critic.

Here’s what my inner hero discovered:

1. The inner critic is not always wrong. In fact, he drags out the tiniest scrap of truth and sews it into a whole king-size bedspread of judgment to cover you up. Smother you, drown out your voice. A weakness turns into a failure, a mistake into proof that you can never gain a foothold in that area again.

2. Your inner hero can speak your truth, even when you cannot. You might not be able to stand up for yourself, but the inner hero, not connected to your anxieties, does a great job of looking at the real truth of the inner critic and boiling it down till the message of lack and attack is clear. Transparent, in fact. That allows your own strength to glow through.

3. Your inner hero and you have a lot in common. If you take the tiny scrap of truth and use it in a collage of your own design and process, it will grow into a pleasing and sturdy image of your own creative development. Your inner hero has the strength and wisdom you don’t want to admit you have.

4. We need to bring metaphor into our lives, to make meaning we can understand. Metaphor helps us step away from our own story and see ourselves in a different way, a stronger way. It gives us new perspective. Our inner heroes are metaphors for what we know we are, but are afraid to live up to.

5. There are many inner heroes within us, and each of them can show us a way to distance ourselves from the terrible destructive force of the inner critic.

The book is about using creative work–mixed media work–to write and create art that helps you follow the strong truth and boldness of your inner hero. Your inner critic may follow you through life, but you get to lead. And where you go is up to you.

Try out a sample exercise from the Inner Hero book.

Until the week of January 5, the downloads for the book will be here: 
instead of the link provided in the book. It’s one of the things that happen when the book gets fast tracked.

 The book is associated with classes, workshops, business applications and creativity groups. Ask about details (Contact form is at the bottom of this page)

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Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art

Raw Art Journaling: Making Meaning, Making Art is in its second printing!  You can buy it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or most chain and independent bookstore.
Podcasts and Interviews
Watch and listen to Quinn’s webinar held by her publisher, F+W Media.

Listen to Quinn and Rebecca Parsons on Blog Talk Radio’s Artistically Speaking discussing Raw Art Journaling.

Britt Bravo interviewed Quinn on the Art and Healing Network in November, 2011. The topic was the healing power of journaling.

How Raw Art Began: Some years ago, I was sitting in a cafe, enjoying a perfect iced tea. The day was sunny and mild. An interesting gate in the wall across the street caught my attention. The gate was ornate, the wall plain, the flowers around it colorful. I grabbed my journal and began to sketch.

If you can get 30% of the idea down, your brain fills in the rest.

I’m not an illustrator. The gate I drew was crooked and looked odd. The plants looked weird.  But I had caught the metaphor of the rigid gate and the twining, colorful, defiant flowers.

I was happy until I glanced at a woman creating a  watercolor sketch in her journal.

Her work was realistic and beautiful and mine, com- pared to it, amateurish. I felt ashamed. The day was no longer beautiful.

I instantly knew I wanted to develop a way for people who can’t draw (and don’t want to write 500 words a day) to be able to create a meaningful journal.

So I created Raw Art Journaling.

This blog has all the updates for raw-art journaling. If you type that phrase into the search engine on the right-hand nav. bar, you’ll see a lot of articles.

Recent Raw Art Journaling blog posts:

Tutorial: Raw Art Journal Page

New Journal? What to put on the first page.

Fixing a messed-up journal page.

One-Sentence Journaling.

Map Your Life.

Journal Entry: Write to Remember, Write to Forget.

Journal Pages: Backgrounds without Paint

Art Tutorial: Found Poetry

Tutorial: Found Poetry, Raw Art

–Quinn McDonald is a life- and creativity coach. She’s a writer who keeps a raw art journal.