Perfection. Everything being the way it is supposed to be. Sticking to the plan point to point. Measured to the exact scale, every object being at the right place. The angles all need to be correct. The to do list needs all tasks ticked off. You need to reach that place at the exact time, not too early not too late. And on and on. My artist creative brain has a problem with that for some things. For me, perfection is overrated (I know at this point some of you judging me, but I am just sharing my opinion here. You may have a different one and that’s ok).
As a creator, yes I believe in measurements, scaling, following the guidelines for some works. You should see me then. Drawing, erasing, re-drawing until I get it right, until it looks good enough, satisfactory enough. Or when I need to frame a piece, and need to find the perfect color and material of the frame that would look good for the exhibition. Or when I clean and organize my studio and everything has to be in its place so that after that I can fully focus on my painting. In those cases, I want things to be as close to perfect as they can (I say as close to perfect, because nothing can ever be fully perfect).
And yet…Things happen. Mistakes get made. There are some works, even after all the planning and measurements, the measurements seem off or don’t work for that particular piece, and in the end I decide to go with the flow and freehand it. And that “fixes” the work. Or I reach the exhibition venue and realize a better color or style would have stood out more, but the previous choice still looks good and I stand by it. Or I look for something and get stressed because I can’t find it, can’t remember where I put it, and after a few minutes I do, and I laugh at where it was.
You know what I consider my best works to be? The ones where I create with no concrete plan in mind, just a basic rough idea. The ones where I give full control to my hand and let it go do it’s thing. The ones where I let the painting talk to me and guide me. The ones where I have no idea what the end result will be. Because that is when I totally am in the zone and one with my work.
The night before one of my big exhibitions, I was restless and nervous about my speech. I had written it all out and had been practicing it for days, had it memorized word for word. I was ready. It was so-called perfect. But, something in my gut didn’t feel right. My instinct was giving me a bad feeling. Whenever I talk about my art, it comes naturally, straight from my heart. And this speech didn’t feel like that. So, I ripped it up and threw it in the trash. I deleted everything I had rehearsed from my brain. A new start. And on exhibition day, I spoke from my soul. I was me. And my instinct was happy. Till today, that is what I do with speeches. Speak naturally from the heart. Just like where my art comes from.
My point is… we shouldn’t aim for perfection. We should just be our human imperfect selves. Because what is relatable, what connects each of us is this side of us. Because that is how the best of each of us comes out. Because that is our uniqueness. Because that is how we shine our light. And because our perfection is not our superpower. Our imperfection is.