As an artist, and slight perfectionist, I often struggle to find a happy medium between the two. It isn’t ever easy, but I’m learning to let the creativity win and relax on striving in my art, in whatever form it happens, to be perfect.
Perfection is a worthy goal most certainly. I love knowing that I’m truly satisfied with the appearance of something. Knowing that I’ll get more praise than criticism, and that I won’t look at it and always pick out the imperfections. But the concept of art was designed almost as the opposite of perfection. Some art is perfect in some people’s eyes, and others can’t see any beauty in it. That is one gift that art gives us. Some people enjoy dancing and work hard to perform well. Some do yoga and work on their form and stretching. Yet others don’t appreciate dancing or yoga, but do find value in painted pictures or needlepoint.
Another aspect that is definitely prevalent with perfection is the acceptance of their art with others. For some their art is a performance and they live to get the approval of others. For others, the approval factor is a downside to art. I think it works both ways. With the criticism of others you can become a better artist. If you can’t see that your legs are in the wrong position, you need someone to tell you so that you can perform better, or feel better. You can improve your painting and drawing with a little constructive criticism and critique too. Someone’s advice about your garden or about your creative decorating may give you a good idea that will help you get closer to the desired perfection.
Most importantly when struggling with the challenge of perfection, don’t forget to enjoy the experience. Art is all about the experience, about learning about yourself, about healing, about sharing yourself, about opening the world to your perspective. Many of the biggest “mistakes” and “imperfections” have revolutionized aspects of the artistic world. There wouldn’t be new dance styles without imperfections, there wouldn’t be new plant species without mistakes, some of the most beautiful paintings wouldn’t have occurred without imperfections.
So no matter if you see your work of art as imperfection, or as perfection, there will always be criticism. However, as an artist, giving your best effort and putting the very essence and passion of you into your artwork can be satisfaction enough when you complete a work of art that isn’t quite perfect.