Task: Don't hang around with this toxic bastard.
Few days ago I've been to the first exhibition of an artist who was in her middle forties. She exposed a retrospective of her work, and it was very interesting to go through each phase of her creative life. Her early work was absolutely amazing; the brush strokes were made with bold, confident moves, colors were chosen with wildness and you could feel the freedom she felt while painting that wonderful landscape. You could smell the air on that painting.
The latest paintings didn't tell me so much. There was seen a progress by using different techniques and meticulously painted figures and shapes, but there was no spirit in them.
Because they were trying too hard to be perfect.
I spoke with the artist later and I showed her the painting I admired so much. She smiled and told me it was one of the first paintings that she did after many many years. She admitted that she didn't think too much about it, but just enjoyed doing it. "I doubt I could do it now," she said to me after a minute of silence, "now I think too much how should the painting look, and I take care more about details. Maybe that's wrong, I don't know".
Too many times we forget about fun and we think just about hard hard work. This especially comes when you are going to expose your work in front of other people. It should be perfect, we say to ourselves, it MUST be perfect. Every. F-ing.Time.
So we put less and less of ourselves inside the artwork. Because we have to appear good, brave and strong, who master his art and doesn't allow mistakes. Perfect. Even the sketches have to be impeccable.
But the problem is that we don't make the perfect art. We make boring art instead. The perfect art is the one that comes from the depths of your heart. This art is vulnerable, is maybe bad in all the proportions of classical art and it doesn't fit the moral and aesthetical standards.
But this is your art. And it's unique and interesting in the way only you are.
If Picasso would make the same things as Botticelli, would he become The Picasso? You have to stop comparing yourself to the others in order to really be you and discover again your flow and have fun doing art.
Don't try to be perfect. Be free to express yourself. This is how the great works have been done.
I don't say this method works for everyone, but for me does: try doing something very silly, like silly in a good way. A simple poem, a line, a drawing. Something just for you.
Here is my simple silly drawing I did by allowing me to be bad at painting. To be really basic and stupid, like a 5 years old.(I used to love drawing birds and chicken when I was little). And it was so deliberating doing it, I catch myself smiling.
Give it a try. And then send me a link of your great free work, I'd be very very happy to have a look at it. And write me in the comments what is your tool to overcome perfectionism.