Learn from Michelle

Rufus Keeps You in a Rut

Rufus is the snooty, know-it-all, art critic that lives inside the mind of every artist.
Have you ever been stuck in a rut?
Rufus loves to keep you in them, and there is a method to his madness!
It will start off with a grand idea that gets you excited to paint. Then, while you are painting, reality will hit, and Rufus will start whispering in your ear
"Your eyes got too big for your brush."
"You don't have the skill to do that!"
"What were you thinking even trying something like this?"
Now, this is the even more clever part of Rufus's plan. He doesn't direct you into which rut along the side of the road to success you run off into. Each of us has a natural tendency to gravitate toward one rut or the other.
The first rut is where you trash the painting. It's like your artwork goes into production and then into the trash. Rufus likes to convince you you're just "recycling" the idea, but really, it's a tendency to run from difficult problems through self-degredation. It's the constant belief that you should be better, so nothing is good enough. This means that hardly anything ever makes it to another viewer's eye to tell you otherwise.
The second rut is where you "accept" the terms and conditions Rufus has convinced you to believe. You don't push yourself to learn or do more because these are "the cards you were dealt." It's the mindset of "You've made your bed. Now, lay in it." This state of mind is called the doldrums, and the only thing it facilitates is stagnant art. Rufus has convinced you that whatever you have produced is the best you can do. You can't improve or excel any further, so you might as well give up.
Notice something? The body's response to danger is often flight, fight, or freeze. Rufus doesn't want you to fight back. He wants you to run off the road or freeze in place so he can push you off the road.
These ruts are dangerous, and they can lead to an artistic drought or depression. Rufus wants this to happen. He wants you to not succeed, but now that you know his devious tactics, recognize when you're headed for a rut!
Reach out to others and show Rufus just how far you can go.
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