Oh to be perfect! I have mastered it! NOT. Perfectionism wreaks havoc for me many a day. It may be a Libra thing or so I’ve been told. Perfectionism takes a toll on so many things I either want to do or am in the process of doing. This includes relationships, looks, clothing, painting, artistry – it can go on and on. Perfectionism and OCD issues go hand in hand. They may or MAY NOT include straightening items on the self at check out. I mean I wouldn’t do that. I’m just saying this could be you and if it is, I am not judging you, ok? And while this particular trait might be good for Trader Joe’s, there are down sides in other areas. Perfectionism can also lead to NOT completing things and at times not even starting things. This is where I can relate – especially with my art. It specifically pertains to a new piece I’m working on called “Split Personality”. Perfectionism and my “Split Personality” – it’s not what you think.
Libra, the perfectionist
Perfectionism Limits My Art
Besides the last few lines of the meme above which I refuse to accept as yet another issue of mine (insert side eye), one of the main ways I see how perfectionism affects me is in my art. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started a painting or a drawing and because there was some flaw with it, I just stopped. My artwork most often starts with a clear intention of where it will go. The vision is crisp. I convince myself of exactly how it will be and as I sit down to bring my vision to life, it escapes me. My hands find their way to the canvas and something becomes lost. Perfection eludes me and I leave my work, unfinished.
It feels disheartening to be so critical of myself yet absolutely love the work of others. I would either immediately fall in love with a piece or just admire it for what it is – imperfect as it may be. The pieces I am drawn into are often not in proportion. They are often not well blended or have simple elements that I would not use. Yet, I look at them with a deep appreciation that has often extended from my pocket lol.
Split Personality – My Art
I recently – ok, that’s a lie… over a year ago, I agreed with a very dear friend to do an art piece with her. She wanted us to do a face together. She’d do one half and I’d do the other, following her dimensions. I suggested we name it “Split Personality” and she agreed. Awesome! New Art! Wuhoo! Motivated and ready – let’s go!
She finished her half of the face ONE MONTH LATER. It’s now nearly one year after and my half is still undone. She gave me her half of the face wrapped so that I can’t see it. You’d think the curiosity would inspire me to finish so I could see what the other half looks like. I started, had issues and left it. I fought with that pattern and repeatedly went back to “Split Personality”. Friends have come and gone through my home and either made comments giving props to my having worked on it or asking why it still looks the same.
Sometimes if we wait for inspiration, we do NOTHING.
We just wait… and we do a little as it comes and we leave it as it goes. Or, maybe that’s just me.
We wait for signs and inspirational quotes or movies that leave us feeling like we can conquer the world but most times those highs are momentary. They fade. Experience is teaching me that it truly is a mind thing. It truly is about making conscious decisions to do what we say we will. AND that we must repeatedly make choices that change our neurons.
I’d like to make a promise in a blog post about how I’ll finish “Split Personality” by the end of March 2018. I just wonder if that’s “inspirational” enough and how long it will last. It may or may not even get me through tonight to add 5 minutes more to my piece. I keep looking at the face and how the nose seems far from the eyes (a mistake I’ve made quite a few times) and I get stuck on the mistake.
I’ve got another piece I’ve named “Intafarin Betsy” that I started THREE YEARS ago. You can imagine the anguish it causes to keep watching these pieces unfinished. I’m annoyed that they are undone which reminds me that I’m not perfect and I’m annoyed that piece isn’t perfect so therefore, it’s undone. WOE IS ME.
My plan is to just do – just do it, like Nike.
Just Freakin Finish it Already!
I can’t – because see… the nose is too far from the eyes and the shading isn’t right. So, instead of the “Just Do It” mentality, I’ll spend 10 more hours over the course of another 3 years trying to perfect one portion of the face. And guess what? It will never be perfect. These portraits I drew only included the face. Had I ventured much lower, perfectionism and OCD would have taken over and I would have never finished them.
Writing blog posts have helped me to start curing this need for perfection. I made a commitment to posting one blog post a week. Since I haven’t quite found my niche yet the topics tend to be all over the place – several different topics, until I can find my way. BUT, I write and I post. Life will happen so some recent events halted my flow but I’m back on track. Well, this is week 2 of getting back on track.
Perfectionism aside, I still look and think of things I could have, should have and would have added but I post, nonetheless. Shudda. Wudda. Cudda. Nah, I did! Here’s hoping I will finish “Split Personality” but I make no promises… only that I’ve written yet another blog post. Hopefully soon one will be unveiling “Split Personality” in its most imperfect form. And, if you want to see some more of my work, click here for some more of my work. Keep in mind that I just started this website so that it is undone is forgivable. Right?
Does perfectionism affect you?
Are you able to observe it but move past it? Or are you stuck on mistakes made and rearranging items on the shelf at Trader Joe’s?