The Gremlin and your Creative Dreams


Have you ever been haunted by that critical voice inside your head that tells you you can’t do something, that you are a horrible artist, such a klutz with no talent? Well I hear that voice and have to find ways to silence it. Sometimes if you give it a face and a name it takes the wind out of it – I like to call it the Gremlin. In the above sketch I was illustrating what gets in the way of my dreams…….and I came up with an illustration of me! I’m taking Sark’s Dream Boogie online class and this was one of the exercises she gave us – to illustrate the monster. The class by the way is excellent. It speaks so well to the creative person in me who enjoys whimsy, colour and fun plus there is so much interaction with the teleseminar and the ability to participate in polls on the phone. I think this is a new feature which is supposed to mimic attending a real live workshop where you break up in groups and share your dreams and ask for feedback. It’s sort of like a mini virtual mastermind group!

 Tracking your Gremlin Progress in your Art Journal

Anyways, as usual I’m digressing. Every year I create a Gremlin Journal Page and notice how over the years he has changed – he’s not quite as vicious as the previous year. Therapy and EFT (emotional freedom technique) has helped me in dealing with the gremlins and the demons that stop forward progress. It’s pretty cool if you can keep your journal pages and refer back to them at a later date. You’ll hopefully be able to notice a pattern – a pattern of growth where you are in fact moving closer and closer to your dreams and in fact are living them. That’s one of the things that excited me so much about art journaling – the journal pages which almost magically appeared before my very eyes had a message for me. They told me what was going on in my life, where I needed to change, what was important and what wasn’t. I was told to take a break, go on a retreat to recharge my batteries. I can’t say it often enough….art really has saved my life! I know that it can save your life too – it can help you deal with and overcome some pretty trying times. On the flip side art journaling is a great way to document the joys and simple pleasures in your life too!

8 Comments on The Gremlin and your Creative Dreams

  1. giggles
    April 29, 2010 at 9:54 am (10 years ago)

    These illustrations are fabulous….They make me smile from ear to ear. It always amazes me how great talent such as your own has that critical voice too…Although it can keep us down, it must also keep us a bit humble too…
    No one uses color with such perfection as you do!! It makes my eyes dance, and my heart pump quickly!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. Kara aka Mother Henna
    April 29, 2010 at 10:19 am (10 years ago)

    Wooooo-Hooooooo I love your new site, Violette! And your drawings in response to the SARK gremlin prompt are brilliant 🙂 I love that you heard that you need a break and recharge. So important. Here’s great vibes to you for rest and reviving!

  3. Wendy
    April 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm (10 years ago)

    I like the idea of drawing the gremlin – each day you could draw them smaller and kinder, sillier and less intimidating. Failing that you could always impale them on one of those old fashioned spikes that paid bills used to be put on! But seeing as how you’ve put so much into the illustrations, how about writing them a new job description – instead of play offence the could use their skills to play defence roles.

    Thanks for the reminder about Planet Sark!

    Kia kaha!

  4. Lisa
    April 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm (10 years ago)

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Art journalling has saved my life. My journal has been one of my best friends and its where all my “stuff” goes…I feel lost when it’s not with me.
    My gremlin was my dad for awhile now I am not so sure…I must do a page and see.

    I love your pages!! So talented!

    Thanx for the cool prompt


  5. Pam Aries
    April 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm (10 years ago)

    I am loving your new much easier and better than the old one! COOL! I have to agree with father was my Gremlin… I finally got over it a few years ago.

  6. linda
    April 29, 2010 at 11:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Oh wow, what a fabulous idea! I totally know how it feels when the critic appears…happens when something doesn’t work out as planned and suddenly the doubt creeps up and the critical voice inside gets stronger. I like the idea of getting it all out onto a journal page…that definitely helps! 🙂

  7. Angie
    May 5, 2010 at 12:27 pm (10 years ago)

    I was introduced to your gremlin exercise in Journal bliss last summer. I drew a picture of me and my gremlin which looked a lot like Jabba the Hut from Star Wars. I gave him a goofy smile and teeth to take some of the “bite” out of his words. It was so much fun and I can say that almost a year later that gremlin doesn’t get in my way as much. In the last year, I’ve had the courage to take a creative writing class AND take tennis lessons. I’m also art journaling and posting my pages for others to see. These are things I NEVER would have had the courage to do before. Thanks, Violette!


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