by Grant Goodwine
As an artist, Recently I’ve found myself winding up in discussions and asked for advice from other creative people- usually involving their frustrations in their works. Or about how much of a perfectionist they are and how frustrated they get when it doesn’t turn out the exact way they wanted it to. Frustrated to the point of either scrapping the project or giving up entirely. I feel like what I’ve told them is worth saying publicly.
Perfection is absolutely unachievable. In both art and life. You just keep going. You just keep letting yourself improve. You keep going and reaching forward to those goals…but the closer you get to your original idea of what perfection is- your perspective changes and perfection is something else and you continue chasing it. However there are some people who don’t even chase it. Multiple creative people I speak to will sit around and think about the concept over and over in their head, then when they finally get the courage to get up and execute it in their preferred medium, it doesn’t turn out the way they wanted it to. Then they give up on the whole concept.
Here is a secret. You’re not in control. In art. love. and life in general, its all a dance with a vicious epileptic 8 legged shark. You just aren’t going to get that bastard to do what you want it to. So how do you dance with such a creature?
Its simple. You just dance with it. You get slapped. stepped on. knocked over. bitten and so on. Yes you will get frustrated. But KEEP DANCING. Eventually you will learn how to counter-act with its various Jerks, snaps, steps and shakes. Keep your eyes on the damn thing cause once you look away, it will knock you on your ass in the blink of an eye.
As with anything, you aren’t going to walk out the door and become the master of something just like that. You aren’t going to put your pencil on paper and you’re instantly Leonardo DaVinci. You gotta get up and dance with the 8-legged shark and get knocked down a couple times. And the only way to get better is to dance with the damn thing. Ok, so Your drawing/writing/photograph isn’t perfect. Sometimes its downright ugly. But you still went out and danced.
I had a photographer friend ask me “how many pieces do you make that you don’t post on social media?” My answer to that is if It isn’t for a client and I’m just doing it for fun, I almost always post it. I went out and danced with the eight legged shark and I had fun doing it. Ill show what I did. If someone doesn’t like it, I usually think “well lets see what they’ve created.” and guess what? Its usually nothing. They are afraid of the 8 legged shark. The ones who do dance with it are more than often encouraging.
Its ok to be scared folks. If you want something great. Be it out of Art, Love, or just the pursuit of a better Life. You will have to shake off some of that fear and dance with the epileptic 8 legged shark and get roughed up a bit to learn about how to move with the damn thing. Just don’t give up the first time it knocks you down. Nobody. NOBODY. Has ever danced with the 8 legged shark and perfectly danced with the bastard step by step in perfect rhythm. Some catch on quicker. Some take a little more time. But everyone is able to dance with it. Even the best Dancers get slapped, bitten and knocked around. Just a lot less than the bad dancers.
The epileptic 8 legged shark is perfection. You will never control it. It will never be yours. It is a wild ferocious dancing machine that will never stop. Dance with it for as long as you can. Get knocked down. Get back up and try to dance with it longer than last time.