Why Creating Is More Important Than Perfect / by Amy DeRosia

CC photo by Aaron Gilson

Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend.
— Anne Lamott

Last night, a few of us went to a friend's house to make some art. There was more talking and hanging out than creating which was still fun. The whole experience made me aware of my own self-consciousness about making something in front of others because I'm creative but not an "artist." 

Art is something that all kids do. There is never a question of whether or not a kid is an artist. They just draw, paint, sing, and dance because it's fun. These experiences are part of their daily lives.

Adults who make art are different though. You're supposed to be GOOD. Comparison and perfectionism keep us from enjoying the process of creating like we did as kids. There is a weird pressure to be an expert at your craft before you show your work. Many people never show their novel or album or painting to anyone. That is a major loss. 

We can become derailed by fear or criticism. But art is for everyone-so is activism, community building, and business. 

You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself.
— Seth Godin

Technology is cheaper and better than it's ever been. The internet has made it easier than ever before to teach yourself how to be an incredible artist/maker/entrepreneur/activist. You can create something, build your own platform online, or organize an event. 

Most of us, unfortunately, don't know what to do with this opportunity. We have to practice being uncomfortable and adjust our expectations. Failing and learning as you go is part of the process- so is having fun.

When you choose to put something new out into the world for others to experience, you're an artist. Nothing has to be perfect. Just keep working on it.

Also watch this excellent Ira Glass clip:

How do you keep perfectionism from affecting your creative life? Let me know in the comments.