Perfectionism: The Problem With Dreaming The Impossible Dream

An abstract photograph of foil floral wrapping paper

 

Marisa D. Aceves. Red Wrapper. digital photography 

article by Marisa D. Aceves

Many artists can spend a lifetime training, creating, and fighting to produce that one perfect piece of art that the world will remember.

However, there is a difference between working hard to become the best artist that your particular range of talents will allow and aiming to become a perfect artist.

There are some individuals that become so obsessed with perfection that they forget to enjoy the learning process.

They alienate themselves from their art and the reason why they felt the need to create art in the first place.

Usually, when this situation occurs, procrastination follows as the need to avoid the angst that perfectionism causes overrides all creative endeavors. 

Perfectionism is in effect, dreaming the impossible dream.

Why?

When we aim for it, we are bound to encounter disappointment because the simple truth is that no man or woman is perfect.

If you are not enjoying creating art, why create it.

Getting rid of perfectionist thinking is as much a conscious decision as choosing to be happy. 

The moment we decide to drop perfectionism and choose to approach our life and career from a different perspective, we begin to gain the joy we once lost when we put needless pressure on ourselves.

Be the very best artist that you can be, but don’t fall prey to a perfectionist way of thinking or it will rob you of both the joy you gain from your work and the ability to move forward with your career.

When you find yourself slipping back into faulty perfectionistic thought patterns, gently remind yourself that your work will get better with time, practice, and experience.

How to Fall in Love With Your Art Even If You Hate It

abstract photo of a piece of tin foil

Marisa D. Aceves, “Object 180”, Digital Photography 

 

Many of us dream of creating that elusive,..

near perfect masterpiece..

..that will instantly burn it’s bright light into the minds of  dozens of fortunate visitors that happen to stumble upon our professional websites.

We like to imagine that they would rabidly share  the next generations’ “Leonardo”,”Van Gogh”, or “Picasso”…

..and perhaps they would, …

..if they only recognized it…

Virtually none of us dream of  creating a ridiculous, amateurish monstrosity that slaps us in the face like an immature cheese and mocks us through its’ very existence.

Like a desperate bird that never made it out of a dangerous mine, it’s starved of oxygen;…

It lacks those life giving properties that all great art possesses….

We see this evil, unfortunate child of ours.

Instantly, we want to pitch it in the fire as if it had never been born…

..and yet, it is ours..

We own it because we created it.

Creating is a form of love.

We create to live.

We create for the sheer joy of creating.

So why do so many of us unfairly judge almost all of our efforts?

Some might say “quality control” and in some strange way, they might be right or as Mick Jagger likes to sing,…they might be crazy.  However, if you never allow yourself to freely create that dreaded “cheese” painting,photo,sculpture,etc., you’ll never find your “radiant child”.  It’s been my experience that “bad art” happens when we consciously try to create masterpieces, unconsciously editing out all the imperfect, clumsy, soul bearing goodness that makes us sit up and say “Wow, that is so true.”  When we deprive ourselves and others of that moment, we run the risk of  both losing ourselves and suppressing our humanity. Our humanity makes us real; it makes us accessible to others. Don’t be a victim of perfectionism. Perfectionism stinks. It’s a vicious, unrelenting thief that steals your joy first, then it steals the Art out of your art. Nothing brilliant, can come from this.  Instead, allow a small space in your day to create art with the heart and trust of a child that never knew that so called “bad art” could ever or would ever exist. Be brave enough to love your “bad art”. It won’t kill you.  It will free you from the imposed mental slavery of self-doubt. It will free you from reliance on the approval of others. Today’s “bad art” may be the key to tomorrows’ masterpiece.

*If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.