(as is my girlfriend)
I've been e-mailing with my mom yesterday and today. She's applying for a position as an art teacher in a small town near where she lives.
And I've also been reading--I think I've mentioned this--The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, and it's all about how to get your creativity unblocked: to see what's standing between you and your potential and how to get around it.
Two things she mentions in this are Poisonous Playmates and CrazyMakers.
And I've just been thinking that it's amazing that my Mom ever became an artist living with my dad. Because he's---well---how can I say this? He obsessively finds fault. He sees himself as this great proofreader, and he's going to circle everything in red so that you can see your faults and become a perfectionist like him.
And for an artist, it's all about turning down the Critic and turning up the Creator, otherwise you'll never have the courage to paint, draw, sing, because it won't be perfect. You need to be able to say, "I don't know where this going" without someone standing over your shoulder.
L* has this portrait she did of me that we call "Caesar." She painted it when we were visiting my parents, and after she had the color she wanted for the skin tone, she outlined the picture. While the eyes were still blank, my dad walked by and said "you're painting a picture of Caesar!" Fortunately, My L* did not let this deter her, and painted on.