Another Huge Reason To Give Up On Your Quest To Be Perfect!

desmoiselles d'avignon

(picasso’s les demoiselles d’avignon) 

I used to want to be perfect. I’m sure you’ve had your moments.  It wasn’t a want to be perfect as much as it was a want to not make any mistakes at all.  My mistakes were costly and I couldn’t afford to make them.

I’m sure some of you know what I mean.

To be responsible and “good” I would be flawless.

No mistakes is a very high bar to set.

If you are looking at life through those lenses, nothing will get done.

It wasn’t until I had the good fortune to get to know many of the artists and art-world-shaping forces of the formative eras in art in my own life- the Andy Warhol & Basquiat era in particular- that I came to see that accidents, not perfection, made art happen.

Accidents kick-started artist’s careers.

Mistakes became masterpieces.

In fact… some major creative personalities I know sit and pray for the accidental discovery that makes for an aesthetic breakthrough.

If Picasso wanted to be “perfect” he would never have become a historic figure that changed the way the modern world sees art and sees the world in full.   In fact, if he wanted to be perfect, he would have stuck with making the kind of picture-perfect hyper-realistic art he was making at age 14 and 15, the kind of duplication of reality that was flawless in its ability to copy nature like a snapshot.

But… then we wouldn’t have Modern Art.  And, following that line, there would be no Pop art. Likely no video games (who could conceive of video art if you can’t even see past the edges of a canvas?) and maybe no modern design.  If Andy Warhol didn’t happen- another man of mass imperfection- we wouldn’t have the flashbulbs of popular culture, the glory of package design, the fresh ways to view just about any everyday object as a piece of art.

So… what would happen if an enormous lineage of artists decided to be PERFECT?

The world as we know it would likely be very bleak.

There would be no art if we all were perfect.

And in a world devoid of music there would be nothing to see but blank walls and boredom.

So… why are you still hoping to be perfect? And how can you extricate yourself from the perfection trap? 

Let’s review:

Perfect is a funny word. It implies that something is exemplary. The best. The most exacting. The most divine.

Perfect denies innovation, creativity, emotion, spontaneity and everything that makes life worth living.

beauty perfection

(via)

So, if you want to be perfect, you will have to settle for a very small and suffocated and artless life!

Not too appealing, right?

Here are two simple ways to start shifting from “mistake-free” to “creatively-free-flowing”:

FEEL MORE & THINK LESS

Yep, feel. Close your eyes and feel the chair you are sitting on.  Feel the keys of your computer or the screen of your iPad or phone.  Hot? Cold? Smooth? What do you feel?  Feel the fabric you are wearing. Feel the carpet, floor or ground beneath your feet.

Everything time you think too much you risk getting carried away into the land of perfection.

Analysis.

Plotting.

Trying to control the future.

Stop.

Close your eyes and feel more.  With your eyes closed you eliminate a lot of distraction so that the sense of touch becomes more vibrant.

Surrounding yourself with feel-good textures will flood your life with greatness.

But… even the stuff that feels rough, sticky, hot or unappealing is still good to feel.  We need to have a big mix of texture to be more viscerally alive!

MAKE MORE ART

Pick up a pen and make something.  Fold some paper. Draw in chalk on a sidewalk. Write a poem. Knit a scarf.

Make a meal and make it artfully. Engage in bringing energy and inspiration to what you are cooking. No recipe. All inspiration.

Take your day and turn it into art. Snap some photos. Pick some flowers… or even weeds!  Create a wreath. Walk your dogs in a new direction. Look at life with artist eyes, always looking to discover an interpret and re-fuel your spirit.

This is where the gold is.

You may actually discover talents you never knew you had if you are willing to open up to life in this vibrant way.

So… stop thinking & start making lots of great mistakes!  xoxo Dana

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