Perfection and Creation

We have a saying in my family, “Nothing to it, but to do it.” It’s meant to be a motivator, a call to action, and can be applied in many different situations.  When it comes to the craft of creating, however, sometimes that motivation of knowing that “it needs to be done, so get to it”, isn’t enough.  Some of us want to wait for the perfect time or inspiration in order to begin. Others of us start, only to become frustrated with how our efforts are proceeding.

john cleese quoteIt can be hard to create (whether it’s visual arts like painting or photography, or writing poetry, or coming up with a few bars for a new song) if/when you wait for the perfect inspiration to hit you or if you keep revising something in the quest for the perfect color, the perfect frame, word or note, etc.

have-no-fear-of-perfection Salvador Dali

Perfection is an illusion, anyway. But there are a couple of different schools of thought when it comes to applying “perfection” to the creation of one’s art.  Some people feel that seeking perfection can lead to trying harder and ending up with something as close as you can get to perfect.Vince Lombardi perfection

Others think that it can demoralize a person to the point of giving up (or not starting at all, which is worse).

perfection quote Margaret Atwood5154-if-you-look-for-perfection-youll-never-be-content Leo TolstoyBoth approaches have their merits, and while both points of view can lead to success, I think they take very different types of people to make them work.  Some people work better under pressure than others. Some enjoy more of a challenge than others do.

Quotation-Oscar-Wilde-practice-perfectionWhich camp describes you? Does the search for perfection in your craft motivate you? Do you find that striving to reach your personal best leads to success in your creative endeavors? Or do you feel that all that pressure tends to backfire and leads to being paralyzed with inaction?  Do revisions make you shudder? Do you “edit” as you go?

Regardless of which attitude toward “perfection” that you have, it’s important to realize that true “perfection” only belongs to the Divine. We may come close. In fact, finding peace and acceptance of ourselves as part of the Divine is necessary, realizing that we are perfect, exactly as we are.  Can/Will you apply that same perspective to your art?

Quotation-Michelangelo-shadow-work-perfectionIn the end, the matter of whether our creation(s) have achieved “perfection” is completely up to us. Only the artist knows and can decide when something is done, and whether or not it’s done to the satisfaction of the creator. Remember: YOU, as the artist/creator are the only one you have to satisfy. Maybe “good enough” IS “perfect”. 😉

Perfection-Quotes-Ring-the-bells-that-still-can-ring Leonard Cohen

About dragonkatet

Regarding the blog name, Dragon’s Dreams ~ The name comes from my love-affairs with both Dragons and Dreams (capital Ds). It’s another extension of who I am, a facet for expression; a place and way to reach other like-minded, creative individuals. I post poetry and images that fascinate or move me, because that’s my favorite way to view the world. I post about things important to me and the world in which we live, try to champion extra important political, societal and environmental issues, etc. Sometimes I wax philosophical, because it’s also a place where I always seem to learn about myself, too, by interacting with some of the brightest minds, souls and hearts out there. It’s all about ‘connection(s)’ and I don’t mean “net-working” with people for personal gain, but rather, the expansion of the 4 L’s: Light, Love, Laughter, Learning.
This entry was posted in Art, Creativity, Family, Food For Thought, Frustration, Inspiration, Life, Perfection, Poetry, Prose, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Perfection and Creation

  1. This is an interesting dilemma for me ~ especially right now, Corina. After years of working in inadequate, cramped spaces, I’ve finally got my own studio to create. And suddenly I’m nervous that I won’t be able to create as well as I’ve always imagined I could! What if I’ve been kidding myself all this time? Haha! So I’m definitely going down the Oscar Wilde route for now, rather than aiming for perfection straight away! 😉

    • dragonkatet says:

      Oh, Jacqueline, how wonderful to have your own studio! I think your jitters will pass and you’ll be able to love having your own creative space. I say just get out there and do it, don’t worry about anything except creating when the muse hits. As long as it’s a space where you are comfortable and it can be your retreat from the everyday stuff, I bet you’ll do wonders. 🙂

  2. eebrinker says:

    perfect is meeting standards that may or may not be in our best interests. it’s like when playing sonic the hedgehog…… sometimes you do better to not think about it too much and just zip along.

    • dragonkatet says:

      Haha! I remember that game, and yes, that’s a good way to put it – I think you can sometimes get in a creative “zone” exactly like that, where you are indeed better just zipping along. 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Big Red Carpet Nursing and commented:
    What do you think? Perfection: motivator? Ideal? Curse?

  4. I had tried to be a perfectionist in my work in earlier years. The standards I set for myself were, I realized later, unrealistic and actually made my job much, much harder. And I did not perform as well because of it. Not healthy. Now I hope I have gotten over it but it is a part of me still a little bit.

    • dragonkatet says:

      I think hindsight is always 20/20 and sometimes it’s hard to realize our high standards/ideals as being a perfectionist in the moment. I think those of us who are/were perfectionists will probably always have the tendency, but with awareness, we can take a step back and decide when something is “good enough” even if it’s not “perfect”. 🙂 Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment!

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