This wont be the first time I've mentioned perfectionism, idealism or managing imperfections in art, and I can assure you it is unlikely to be the last. Because it's an important subject. It's (and I think it's safe to assume this is true for most) one of the most prevalent acts of any artist... to judge our own work against an unattainable "ideal". But I say this: perfectionism is the business of gods, not artists.
That sounds rather cosmically bold, I know, but when we release ourselves from the bonds of perfectionism we allow ourselves the opportunity to discover possibility. You see that picture up there? Every mistake displayed in that work tried its hardest to embed itself into the shadowy subconscious of my self-doubt. Tried, and failed.
Because, ultimately, each misplaced wire, each gap in the weave, each kink in a curve is part of my process... of discovering something new, telling my story, weaving a wonderfully imperfect tale.
Perfectionism is boring. It's the story without the characters... all the flawed, refreshing noise that breathes life to the plot.
In art, is it important to know your tools and how they interact with the medium? Sure. Is it a practical step towards creative growth to fill your toolbox with established technique? You betcha. That's part of the process, ultimately, to learn the rules and when to break them. To refuse to be swallowed up by the extreme standards we set for ourselves. To acknowledge the "standard" and then dismiss it for a story a little more revealing.
Is perfectionism paralyzing your creative flow? Don't identify with the details, but with the the whole. What were you feeling when you began the project? How did that factor into the resultant work? Take a moment, and I admit this is difficult, but take a moment and really digest what your purpose was when creating that last imperfect piece.
Because it is imperfect.
And that's okay. Because it's also beautiful. And real. And complete. All things that represent a journey taken and finished. Each piece of art a page from our book.
Now how do you think a "perfect" story would read? I'm afraid I wouldn't know... as I've never been interested enough to read one. I'll stick with the stories full of characters a little crooked, and a lot more attractive.
If you're a fan of anything creative... anything at all... and you haven't visited the Finish It! February 2017 GALLERY OF ENTRIES board on Pinterest, you are denying yourself some serious eye candy. And come on now.... who doesn't enjoy spending time eye-balling some art? I have to admit it, that I was joyfully selfish during the 30 plus days receiving entries, because that means I had 30 more days than everyone else to marvel at the absolute power of creative expression. So, you guys are awesomesauce!
And, as usual, I was not even the least bit disappointed. Over 60 entries, 60 opportunities to appreciate this beautiful language of wire and, sure... there might have been a drop of jealous "wish I'd thought of that" drool here and there, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
So, let's get to it, shall we. The votes have been tallied and the results are in. We have your winners: Group Favorite and Judged Favorite. There were some multiple votes, which had to be discounted and, for the first time in Finish It! history, we have a TIE! I had a third party step in to be the tie breaker to receive my finished pendant, however, both of the group favorites will receive their choice of 10 tutorials.
Group Favorite Winner(s)
Judged Favorite Winner
Each winner will receive any 10 of my tutorials (winners choice), and the Group Favorite will receive my finished version of the lesson provided in the contest. So, winners, keep an eye out on your email, as I'll be reaching out to you soon!
And thank you everyone for totally amazing me with talent and the support you've shown one another, and the enthusiasm in approaching this challenge. It's been an incredible journey, and I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Until then, happy weaving!
Artists left to right: Luis Angel Lopez, Lonely Soldier Designs, Facets of Avalon
I think I can safely say that I own more and wear more jewelry made by other artists than I do my own. I leave the house with a sparkly new pendant gleefully bouncing around my neck and I'm thrilled to tell the curious how to find a piece for themselves when they, undoubtedly, ask where to purchase. I'm happy believing that perhaps, just maybe, I've made way for the energies of two people, an artist and an audience, to come together in a beautiful partnership of support.
And, to me, that's exactly what it means. It's a marriage of spirits, in a way. I know, I know... that's all dreadfully cliche and abundantly dramatic, but I'm totally owning it, without shame, because I want a life in which I can find the poetry in everything.
Anyone can buy a necklace from a department store. I have. Many times. But it takes a rare and special talent to evoke emotion, to hand over to me an unspoken story or journey and allow me to experience that story, if even only during the moments I wear it.
"I don't want to live in a bubble, in my craft or in the world... I can't, I would be cheating myself out of my generation and the world we live in." Diane Lane
It's an amazing thing, to step outside my bubble of creativity, and ache for every beautiful, singular moment in which someone steps outside of their own bubble to greet me. What a beautiful gift, to know the soul of others through their art.
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