Perfectionism vs. Quality

This was scheduled to post to you on Friday as part of the Love Art, Happy Life inspired series, however, I procrastinated due to sheer exhaustion.  The lesson for last week was on ‘perfectionism’ and its role as a barrier to creativity and progress.  If that isn’t the truth.

A couple of weeks ago, inspired by Scott Norris Photography, I planned to post to Instagram daily.  For those of you who follow or noticed.  I failed.  This was for a couple of reasons:  my idea to use an alarm to post didn’t work as planned as I was in the middle of something every time it went off, I kept ending up trying to find something to take a picture of before I went to bed each night and the quality sucked, and then I just plain forgot once I ended the alarm idea after it went off in a meeting and embarrassed the hell out of me.

I used to be paralyzed by perfectionism, and it is still something I struggle with, ask my employees.  I do have rigorous standards, but it is because when someone falls through the cracks in my line of work, you may have lost the chance to help.  I don’t require perfection, but I do require quality.  And this is where my work and my art meet.

I was in a cafe the other day as a peer told me I must try ‘bubble tea’ as an exercise in sensory experience.  While waiting for my tea, I noted some art on the walls for sale.  I was kind of frustrated at that point as some of it was very good, but some of the other pieces were not.  They looked like a single layer of paint on a cheap canvas.

The artist was clearly prolific, but traded completion for quality.  That might be a great exercise to get you out of a funk or to practice nixing your perfectionism, however, those are not what you put out to the world.  I have lots of canvases that have been painted and repainted and repainted until I find something I love.

I am behind on my one painting a week schedule, but I am not worried.  I feel that the pieces I am producing are of quality and if I don’t have as many for the art show, well, then I don’t have as many.

Art isn’t something that should be rushed, but it is always something that should be done.  Find your balance.


Marie Wheeler