Friday, November 28, 2008

Perfection or Completeness...

Sometimes, in an artist's life, perfection rears its ugly head. It appears to most of us at one time or another in our lives, and to an artist, it can be just as paralyzing. Some of us refer to it as the "P" word...
It keeps us from accomplishing anything, before we even begin. The whispering spectre of our Inner Critic convinces us that if we aren't going to do things without blemish, then those endeavors are worthless: "Why try? What will others think? Someone will point out that mistake or omission, and what will you say? Stick to what you do well, so you won't look foolish..."
The whispers continue endlessly, don't they?
Until you leave the easel, the studio, walk away from the worktable, the music, the sewing machine, put the pen down. Sometimes, you feel that's the only way to shut up the voices?
It isn't.
There are things you can do to quiet the doubts and fears, so you can find joy in creating.
Try talking back.
Tell your Inner Critic to check out your past successes.
Tell your IC that you're going to just slop some paint around, or play imperfect music, or write some bad poems, just for the moment.
You're not going to show it to anyone, so that's not a problem. It's just for your pleasure, so it doesn't have to be scrutinized.
Pick up that brush, pen, or needle and fool your IC into quieting down by not wanting perfection, but COMPLETENESS.
You want to do one project to its completion. Period. It doesn't have to be Tchaikovsky or Renoir or Wang. You just want to finish it.
When you finish it, DON'T tweak it, don't make adjustments, quit FIDDLING with it!
Hang it on your wall. Hang the sewn pocketbook. The essay. The score you composed. Frame it in a store-bought frame. Quick! Do it now. On the wall it goes.
Put your name on it.
You did it.
Now, how are you going to celebrate?
Your favorite cuppa something? A nap to view your work as you doze off?
A walk through a park with your head up and a smile on your face?
Maybe some new supplies for your next imperfect project?
Now, you're complete.


violette said...

Oh my gosh this is soooo cool......i had not read this and here i had written about the critic! Thanks so much for the inspiration!

love violette

Robyn said...

To think this blog has been going since friday and I only hear about it today!!! :-)

Congratulations DJ. I've been waiting for this day and you're off to such a great start. Just completing something whether we love it or hate it certainly has been a help to me in the past. I'm actually going through a little dip right now so appreciate the post. Words of wisdom just when I need it.

Jo said...

There is nothing more comforting than reading a post, that truly resonates...

DJ said...

Violette ~ After all the inspiration you've given me, my friend, this is a drop in the bucket. Thanks for stopping by!

Robyn ~ Your talent will carry you as far as you want to go. Thank you for being one of my heroes.

Jo ~ How kind of you to take the time to connect. I will be visiting your space soon...