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Inner Critic Part 1 – Scribble Journal Drawing​

Visual Arts


In connection to the story Ish by Peter H. Reynolds we will explore how our inner critic’s voices can prevent us from creating. We will start by making a simple self expressive drawing. Take a piece of paper and make any mark that comes to mind. Be free and draw intuitively. Do not worry about drawing something that is recognizable. For example, draw scribbly lines, round curvy circles, make patterns using dashes, dots or smudges. BE FREE​.

After you are done creating your intuitive drawing take the time to reflect on the different voices that may have popped into your mind. Perhaps it may sound like “this is silly” or “this doesn’t look good”. Was it hard to be free? Did you struggle with making a mark? Were you worried about what marks you should be drawing? Or were you able to break free making any and every mark that came to mind?

We all have inner voices we can call our “inner critic” and our “inner champion”. We actually have lots of different types of critics and champions that live in our mind – but let’s focus on what came up for you today.

After reflecting on your inner voice, we are going to draw what these voices may look like. For example, if you heard a little voice saying “You can’t draw” or “You are an amazing artist” what would they or it look like?


  • Paper.
  • Coloured pencils.
  • Markers.

Activity Notes

  • When drawing your inner voice, it may look like a human, an animal, mythological, or just an energetic swirl or colour/form. You can also write any words that come to you as you draw.
  • Exploring Duality:
    On one side of the paper, draw your inner critic.
    On the other side of the paper, draw your inner champion.
    (These two balance and support each other).
  • Respond to the energy behind each drawing with a simple body movement. If comfortable, feel free to share your characters.
  • Note for Teachers: This is helpful in normalizing that everyone has their own inner critics/champions that may look and feel very different. This helps students develop empathy and compassion for themselves and others. Be sure to validate whatever comes up for students as is. If you are comfortable participating in the activity as well, it can be very useful for students to know that you too have your own inner critics/champions!
  • Reflect in our journal:
    ○ How are each of these characters here to help you in some way? Perhaps your critic may have been well intended, but may not be saying it in the nicest way?
    ○ How can your inner champion help your critic in these moments?
    ○ It is important we face these parts of ourselves and do not ignore them until they become LOUDER and LOUDER. It may just need some love and healing. Maybe you can ask this critic what it needs for healing! Maybe it will have the answer for you.
  • Remember — these inner voices do not define who we truly are! We become “aware” of their voices, and just let them be. We then face them with love and acceptance — understanding they are trying to help us in some way.
  • We complete the session with a mindfulness breathing exercise that practices compassion to all parts of who we are.

Artist Notes

  • Types of voices that may come to mind while creating:
    “You have to make it look perfect”
    “You can’t just be free, there needs to be a purpose”
    “GO for it! Be yourself”
    “Make whatever you feel and be proud!”

Book Recommendation

Ish by Peter H. Reynolds