This post was inspired by a post by Michael Topic called “Flawed Genius”
“It was said that the Chinese used to believe that a work of art was not complete and whole, unless it had some kind of flaw in it. Perfection was not the goal, something with a human stamp of imperfection was the highest aesthetic standard to aspire to. In keeping with this philosophy, many of the ancient Chinese artists would make a tear in their picture, chip a finished piece of porcelain, or otherwise besmirch their work, on its completion. This was to show that the work was beyond perfect. It had a deliberate flaw added at the final stage, to demonstrate this ultra-perfection..”
DO check out the link to the full article by Michael. Thank you, Michael, for denouncing yet another myth of what an artist ‘should do.’ Imagine striving for a perfection that requires damaging your work; one must wonder how that bit of insanity evolved… what guru was misunderstood? what disgruntled adjudicator not in their own creative process subconsciouly conspired to damage artists’ works? What brilliant artist who accidently damaged their works created a new myth to turn that broken piece into perfection?
I wish we would all individually recognize the perfection in everything… that is the only perfect. The ‘other’ perfection is some elusive ‘something’ that is unreachable, therefore, one is never able to say ‘good enough’ or better yet, “I love it.”
As a creative, my perfect is showing up to what I love, basking in the zone, finding my strongest inspiration in the random warps of a pot, unexpected spill of paint, or a typing error. My perfect is bravely putting it ‘out there’ even if I think it’s kind of crappy (but still perfect because it exists) – because my ‘perfect’ knows that for some odd reason, someone is going to bond with it, and that’s when I get to witness the magic and perfection of the creative process which snuck in the back door and made sure I made it for that person.
And when I’ve really pushed my boundaries and techical flaws evolved that disappointed me… yes, I have found myself ‘apologizing’ for the mistakes… but always to looks of “is she nuts? this is awesome” .. so then I try hard to shut up.
It’s very late here in Canada.. I probably need to reread this, but I’m going to press send. Or should I do some damage to this first to prove this post’s perfection?