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Unattainable Perfection

Unattainable Perfection

Article by Tina

You struggle with it and I struggle with it – Perfectionism. Now, there are two kinds of perfectionism. The first motivates you to always do better. The second paralyzes you because you’re afraid of failing. The second kinds of perfectionism is the focus of this article.

Here is a secret you should know: Failing is inevitable! You cannot create the art that you envision without going through years of crappy work that you absolutely hate. Writers make it as New York Times bestsellers after writing years of awful stories. Pianists become remembered for generations after years of slaving over the keys and music sheets, meticulously repeating each music piece until it can be done without much thought or effort. Singers belt loud vibrating low notes or smooth high notes after spending hours everyday for god knows how many years training their voice under the scrutiny of their instructor. Artists paint masterpieces after years of schooling and hours upon hours of tedious and repetitive painting exercises.

Perfection is unattainable because it is subjective.

Your art will NEVER appear perfect to you. You will complete a piece, think it is amazing, but when you revisit it the next day and suddenly spot 10 different mistakes that you did not notice yesterday. You will never be satisfied with your art no matter how long you work on it. The only thing you can do is to make each piece better than the last one. Focus on that: “I will make each art piece better than the last one.” How? Attend workshops hosted by credible art instructors who know thoroughly what it is they are teaching. Attend an atelier or an online art school where your artwork can get critiqued by master artists.

Most importantly, and probably the biggest way to make each art piece better than the last one is to keep drawing as often as you can. Whether you’re a painter, digital artist or a sculptor you need to develop strong drawing skills. Drawing is the foundation of all mediums. It must be learned in order to paint, sculpt, make digital art, etc.

Draw from life and imagination, keep filling your sketchbooks with drawings, flip through your books, spot your weaknesses and work on them.

Critically re-visit your sketchbook pages. Think what can be improved in your artworks. The right way to critique is to do it in a non judgmental way – remember you are critiquing your WORK not YOU. Here’s an example of a healthy critique: “My perspective is a bit off in this still life, I need to practice drawing individual objects in perspective.”

In some cases, you might get too attached to your artworks, so you don’t see obvious mistakes. If you have a feeling that something is not right in your drawing, but can’t figure out what, get professional critique from art teachers.

Drawing Academy tutors offer a great service of artwork critique and give practical advices on how to improve their students’ art.

In any case, as Salvador Dali said “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

Unattainable Perfection

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