Those of us that suffer from this nagging desire for perfection understand first hand the good, bad and ugly of it. The healthy drive it can give you to persevere when you can justify giving up, the way it makes satisfaction elusive and like a distant dream and the plain frustration of its demand for itself.
Perfectionists I ask you. Can you imagine the feeling of walking into a studio and making…just creating like a child? Mark making freely, the feeling and sound of chalk scraped across the coarse paper just because. Vibrant red streaked with turquoise. Stained fingers. The question “why” not asked. To be young and free again before the looks over your shoulder mattered and before anyone else’s thoughts were even considered?
I can. I’ve tasted it and I wish it to be my everyday. It’s not. I struggle, like many do, in that I need to have an end product that justifies the time invested. I need a return. I need an outcome that makes the time killed worth it. It’s not enough to just enjoy creating and to allow the process to in fact be the purpose. I must see a ROI.
We often put art it in its own category saying “it must produce”, that “it is only worthy of our time if it yields beauty”. And yet in other areas of our life we understand that there is a balance to process and production. That the journey is the end result. Here we are putting all this pressure on our own art and even our children’s art to make it something. To make it right. When all along the making IS the art.
Art is more than a beautiful or emphatic painting at the end of a long session. It is the session. It is the moments, the acts, the creating that is the art just as much as the piece. In creating we are discovering ourselves, we are growing, we are being, we are connecting our inner world with our hands, time and space and we are making. Its a wonder in itself and a gift.
So go make something…make it wrong. Make it messy or ugly or anything but MAKE IT and keep doing that until you’ve fallen back into being a child again icing that mud pie with the greatest of confidence knowing it’s beauty and worth intuitively.