Friday, March 15, 2013

UFO Done and Perfectionism

My applique leaf UFO quilt is done! Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and kind words. I tried to find something to use as a sashing and could not find anything in my stash that worked. I have vowed not to spend money on fabric to finish my UFOs. I realized that I was beginning to over-think. When the over-thinking mode happens, I start to spin, feel tense and nothing happens. I can be my own worst enemy. The realization that over thinking may be a form of perfectionism also occurred to me.

Perfectionism is a killer to creativity. I have watched it happen with friends and students. I have experienced myself. Just Monday night I was talking to the intern in my pottery class. She never finishes any of her painting because she is worried that she won't get it "right." Yesterday I talked to a former student who shared that she could not create "serious" art until she had the "perfect" studio. It did not seem to matter to her when I shared that for years I created on a small rickety card table set up between my washer and dryer. Or that I always travel with handwork of some kind.  I wish I could have made her believe a little more in her abilities and less the need for the "perfect" place to create. Hopefully she will realize this sooner than later. Thanks to everyone who shared that perfectionism has been a problem too. It is good not to be alone and have support.

Julia Cameron in her book Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance said it best. “Perfectionism doesn't believe in practice shots. It doesn't believe in improvement. Perfectionism has never heard that anything worth doing is worth doing badly--and that if we allow ourselves to do something badly we might in time become quite good at it. Perfectionism measures our beginner's work against the finished work of masters. Perfectionism thrives on comparison and competition. It doesn't know how to say, 'Good try,' or 'Job well done.' The critic does not believe in creative glee--or any glee at all, for that matter. No, perfectionism is a serious matter.”

Here is to gleeful creating with no need for being perfect!

And once again I'm participating in Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.









16 comments:

  1. I have found that as I am now in my perfect dream studio, the concept of "not wanting to mess it up" can creep in and steal the joy of it all. So I have gotten into the habit of messing it up just enough to allow creativity to flow - which means pictures of it won't be on Pinterest : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think having a messy studio on Pinterest could be quite beneficial to all those that think neatness counts. Thanks for sharing.

      Delete
  2. Oh, we are cut from the same cloth..... Elaine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, I so agree with your comment on perfectionism kills creativity. I got past that notion by becoming consistently inconsistent, so it "looks" like I meant to do whatever...:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, I love "consistently inconsistent'! Hugs, Karen

      Delete
  4. ohhh yeah if I was striving for perfection - nothin' would get done.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post - congrats on the finish!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree that aiming for perfection can stiffle creativity. i can dither for days about very inconsequential parts of a project. I have found that working to a deadline helps me focus on the end result, and dither less. Also if I work in a series, I have the comfort that any 'errors' in the currect project can be 'fixed in the next release', as they say in the tech world.

    I like your appliqued leaves.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Perfection is over rated. The quilt on my guest room bed has an "on purpose" incorrectly assembled block. It makes me smile.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love it when I'v cleaned up my workspace, but I just cannot keep it tidy! That's just how I work, lots of mess around me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am the same way. Very messy when I am working. When I attempt to change it I get crabby. Glad I'm in good company.

      Delete
  9. I VERY much like how you finished up your leaf UFO! Good for you for recognizing that perfectionism was getting in your way. Your FO will be lovely hanging on someone's wall.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amen Karen. I think it's best to do the best you can at the moment and be happy with what you learn from each new project.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for your reflections on a real and joy-stealing creeper- perfectionism... your words were an inspiration to read. And- I love the applique leaves. They are beautiful!

    ReplyDelete

Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.