Gosh, asking a Virgo to try letting go of perfectionism, is like asking a bee to stop making honey. It’s just what we do. And for the most part, even though it sounds like a curse, to live under the pressure of perfectionism, most Virgos prefer it. I think our perfectionism can be tied to our self-worth sometimes, unfortunately. And that’s never healthy. But honestly, it’s like we have an internal, built-in drive to just organize and arrange the world in a better way than it already is. It’s very satisfying to do this, actually. And man, do we have our work cut out for us! There are always projects, and tasks, and people to “fix”! And of course, there is also always beautiful art to be made.
I think my perfectionism has served me well with regards to my art-making. Because so many artists often settle for less when creating works of art. And stop before their creations have been fine-tuned and fully realized.
You might enjoy my article, “4 Ways To Create Meaningful Art.”
However, when perfectionism gets in the way of art-making all together, that’s problematic. And I do admit that I think I’m coming to terms with the fact that my perfectionism has held me back over the years, creatively speaking.
CREATIVE GENIUS IS BORN OUT OF REPEATED IMPERFECTION
I touched on this idea in my article, “Making Art: Why It’s Hard And Why You Should Keep Making It Anyway.” In this article, I talked about an artist I came across who doodled a bunch of “crap” for a few hours every day, before she even began creating. This idea FASCINATED me when I first heard it, and it still intrigues me. Because that is so far from my perfectionist path. But, in order to try letting go of perfectionism, I really need to get comfortable with making “crap,” for the greater good of my art.
There’s absolutely NO way that an artist can create a fantastic work of art, every time they sit down to create. It’s not how creativity works. And much of our best work, is born out of the 99% of crap we made before we made that perfect piece.
And as much as I know that intellectually, I still HATE when I make something that is not perfect in my eyes. I don’t believe I hate it because I’m embarrassed of it. Instead, it’s like I hate that it actually exists in the world. There is this feeling that this uggo thing that is just living and breathing, makes the world just a bit more disgusting. And I often want to actually destroy the shitty things I create.
Unfortunately, this not-being-okay-with-making-crappy-art attitude, keeps me in a stop and start pattern of creativity. And after I make something “shitty,” it often makes me want to give up art-making all together.
IT MAKES ME FEEL KINDA BARFY, BUT HERE IS SOME “CRAP” THAT I’VE MADE OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS…
I don’t think these creations are terrible. But I also do think they’re kinda terrible. However, it’s so apparent to me that this “gunk” has to come out of me in order to make way for the gold! Because with each creation, I learn something new, and try something different. And each shitty work of art, is like one plank of wood, making up the bridge that is leading me to mastery. I just can’t get to the other side without walking there, plank by plank, one shitty work of art at a time.
WHAT DOES “PROLIFIC ART-MAKING” ACTUALLY MEAN?
(Of a plant, animal, or person) producing much fruit or foliage or many offspring. Present in large numbers or quantities; plentiful.
In some ways, I believe I’m extremely prolific, compared to most. Over the course of my life, I have probably created hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of works of art. But at the same time, I don’t create every day. And I definitely go through periods of slumps, where I don’t touch my materials for months on end.
When I think of a prolific artist, I always think of Pablo Picasso.
Picasso NEEDED to create every day. Work just poured out of him. And even though today, anything that touched the hands of Picasso, would probably sell for millions of dollars at auction, he still created shit too. He, like every artist, created sketches, and flops, and stuff that kind of sucked. Because he understood that creating is about energy and flow. And as an artist, it’s kind of our duty to keep that flow moving. Through our bodies, and hearts, and minds, and souls. What comes out is not nearly as important as the flow that charges along. And a beautiful, masterful work of art, is just a stunning byproduct of this flow.
I NEED TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE I CAN DETACH FROM MY SHITTY WORKS OF ART
I think prolific artists fundamentally understand that what they make isn’t a direct representation of who they are. And if they make shit, it doesn’t mean they’re shit as human beings. That’s kind of what I believe, however. And that attitude is just no longer serving me.
MAKING ART IS A BIT LIKE HAVING SEX
Okay, sorry to get weird and go off on a tangent. But this felt relevant for some reason. I’m not going to link or quote anything here. But, if you’re interested, just google “sexual energy and creative energy,” or something like it, and you’ll see TONS of articles on this topic.
I don’t know how I feel about this idea, honestly. Some say that attempting to stay sexually abstinent, can increase creative energy. However, I have found that both sexual and creative energies seem to feed off of one another. So, the more open I am sexually, the more creativity seems to flow from me.
Regardless of what you believe about this, I still find the relationship interesting. And I feel like making art and having sex are kind of similar, in many ways.
When a person has sex or creates a work of art, they are always one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated experiences.
The build-up of wanting to have sex, and wanting or needing to create feels the same. It feels a bit like an itch that needs to be scratched.
Once the act of sex or art-making commences, there is a bit of body, and mind, and emotions, and soul, all involved in the act.
Having sex and making art are often both intuitive processes, that thrive when those involved are going by feel, rather than logic or intellect.
After having sex and creating art, there is always a bit of cleanup involved.
At its best, both art and sex are for bringing something brand new into this world, that would never have existed otherwise.
MY NEWFOUND MOTIVATION FOR LETTING GO OF PERFECTIONISM
I can’t share too much about this, because it’s so new and fragile. However, I am starting to collaborate with another human being, on a lovely human project. And in order to keep this project moving, I must create a LOT of collages. I typically create maybe 10 a year, if I’m really, really inspired! And I need to be creating closer to mmmm, say 72!!!?? So, it’s imperative for me to embrace the idea of letting go of perfectionism. Because I need to keep the flow going, and I need to keep generating work.
MORE UPDATES COMING SOON!
So, I will keep you posted as this project unfolds. Or, I might not, given how secretive I might want to keep it! 🙂 However, either way, I will be diving into this art-making process at a more intense level than ever before. And I’m excited to see what comes of it! For me, letting go of perfectionism, and my attachment to the perfect nature of every piece I create, is so important. And I hope as I exercise these new “letting go” muscles, this will serve me in other areas of my life as well.
Did you enjoy this article and do you struggle with perfectionism? What is your creative process, and do you relate to the concept of making a lot of “crap” before you get to the good stuff? I would love to hear your thoughts, and thank you always for reading! xo
Black Friday shenanigans…
SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER TO RECEIVE EXCLUSIVE, SUBSCRIBER-ONLY GODDESS CONTENT!
FOLLOW THE GODDESS ATTAINABLE PODCASTBecome a Patron!
VISITY MY ETSY SHOP
Picasso image obtained here
Baby photo by Peter Beukema on Unsplash