Sunday 28 April 2013

Being Perfect: I'm Not

  It's not that I don't want to be perfect, I do. I try very hard to be perfect, but humans aren't perfect. We're extremely flawed, some of us more than others. That doesn't stop me from trying. My mother says trying to be perfect is a flaw in itself. You never get anything done because you want it to be perfect. Because you're not perfect, what you do cannot be perfect. As such, you do things half-way then stop. Because you know. You know what you do will never be perfect. It'll never live up to what you imagined it to be, so you don't finish it.

  I have an amazing father who is so good at what he does, and it just so happens that we share the same passion– Art. And I'm always scared of showing others what I've accomplished because what he creates is so beautiful, creative, awesome. Even perfect sometimes. I will never match his skill any time soon. I'm afraid that I'll live in his shadow with everyone comparing me to him. I'm afraid that I'll never be as good as him. I'm afraid that my art career will not go as well as I had hoped. I know it won't be easy. Nothing is easy. But I'm afraid that I'll not be good enough for anyone else to care about what I create. I know that I'm improving, but I wonder if it's enough sometimes.

  I understand that I have to finish things, then move on to make better things. But sometimes.... Sometimes that little voice at the back of my head says that I'll never be as good as my father, so why bother trying. If I finish something, that little voice picks out the flaws in the painting, and I get upset.

  I know almost everyone struggles with this problem at least once in their lives. I know I'm not alone in my insecurities. Still, at times it's difficult to cope with those sentiments. However, I'm trying to overcome this. I think I'm making progress. I've finished lots of projects this year. I'm trying to not be so hard on myself. I'm trying to remind myself constantly that it's okay to finish something imperfectly, so long as you did your best. I'm slowly coming to accept the fact that I may never be truly satisfied with what I accomplish. Wanting to be perfect is a good sentiment to have because you want to keep improving, but it can also kill your creativity. I guess it's a fine balancing act between the two. Funnily enough, though, I only feel the want-of-perfection in my Art. In all other things, I'm quite fine with "that's okay" and "you passed". I don't know why that is, but it is.

  I guess that I have to learn to accept the flaws in what I create and learn to finish the current project(s) I'm working on then move on to a new project. "The world does not reward perfectionists, it rewards those who get things done." I'm taking that quote to heart, and I'm taking my artistic journey a day at a time. :)


  1. So true I have a student who always says that this was my first attempt so it is good and it will be even better the next time. I wish that I always could have the same approach.
    Ingela Johansson
    Swedish Art and Design in Singapore

  2. Then that student will improve greatly over time. :) It's easy to forget how far we've come on our artistic journey and we have to keep reminding ourselves to not be so hard on ourselves.

    -Stephanie Jennifer-