I’ve been doing art, working creatively and doing design related content for several years now. There’s a time when you’re a kid and colouring outside the lines becomes bad, frowned upon by adults and your friends. So you tighten up and do your best to keep everything inside those thick black lines. Yet still, no matter how hard you try, you somehow manage to spill over and now there’s a squiggly line of Crayola marker bleeding outside of your drawing.
It’s ruined. It’s not perfect.
As with any creative profession, video, photography, design, art…there is a consistent push for perfection in the work you create. Your shading should be perfect, the tracking shot should be smooth and seamless. Your design should be refined with perfect contours and all elements taken care of and considered. Only with every single element at its highest potential can you achieve perfection.
Yet here’s the funny thing…
Perfection is completely defined by the individual person.
Perfection to Person A means something completely different to Person B. Strictly speaking, perfection doesn’t exist.
And this is a hard thing to grasp! Believe me I get it! I was so obsessed with getting the shading and the blending perfect in my paintings, making the contours defined and creating perfect lines with my brush. I would toil for hours on small details in a painting that no one was ever going to notice. But I would. Maybe that’s why I spent so much time at it?
It took a while to accept the fact that perfection doesn’t exist. That my idea of perfection was perhaps not healthy for my working style was a bizarre concept to think about. But I did it. Finally I just stopped working to make each element of a painting perfect. I just painted. I focused on creating something I was happy with and if I spent to much time in one spot, worrying and stressing about minute details that had no real impact on the final piece…I would stop myself. I was doing it again.
I was caught up in perfection.
There’s a huge difference between perfection and good enough. Whether you want to call it ‘good enough’ ‘as best as you can’ ‘your highest capacity’ they all mean the same thing.
Chasing perfection can often waste your own time. You spend to much time worrying about what others will think of your work, what impact it has and whether or not people are going to criticize you for the mistakes you made. If you spend a large amount of time on something that will only bring you minimal gain…maybe you need to reevaluate.
Perfection is a construct. Break it down.
Failure to achieve perfection drives people insane. It makes them quit. It turns them miserable and unmotivated because they’ve set their own standards higher than they are personally capable of achieving. They leave their project, abandon their passions and pursuits.
Define your own idea of perfection.
Once you’ve done that, determining what you are capable of REALISTICALLY…you can push for the stars. Now everything will seem less daunting, less intimidating and more inviting. Now you’re on the path to success.