Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Take this Perfectionist - Please

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Take this Perfectionist - Please

Our inner perfectionist helps us get to the point where our work is good and we are ready to let it go - but it's necessary to keep the perfectionist from stopping us in the end, because it doesn't know when to stop.
How amazing is that? Words of wisdom via email this morning from my most-excellent friend, Tani. Her advice was in response to the array of feelings I described having after putting my art into the hands of the universe (i.e., for sale). My creative process  suddenly lurched out of gear and landed in a quagmire. I was questioning color choices, details, decisions that had once felt automatic, almost like the work had been simply flowing through me rather than a result of conscious effort. 
Having suffered writer's block in the past, I was familiar with the signs, as well as the remedy: the need to focus on the process rather than the outcome. To play and make altered art and honor the insatiable longing to create. Daily. And to cherish kindred spirits like Tani, a fellow artist and writer (and perfectionist), who also has psoriatic arthritis, the auto-immune disorder that restructured my life. She is another silver lining in the cloud of chronic illness - a wonderful, close friend, a steadying presence on this altered path. 

3 comments:

Woody Berry said...

I grew up with perfectionist pressure from my parents and lived them out so well... finally getting to a point where I would hardly even talk, because if you risk talking, you risking saying something the wrong way, or being misinterpreted, or sounding stupid, or the millions of other things that can go wrong when we speak... the perfectionist imperative was so powerful that I made it long into adulthood without having honest conversations with people, believing that perfection was more important than being who I was, speaking my own truth, even authentically encountering another person.... The only thing perfectionism accomplishes is shutting us down... so I'm with you... "Take this Perfectionist - Please!!!"... What makes your art beautiful is that it is real, that it is true, that it is authentic, that it is not perfect...

Sherry/Cherie said...

Found you through Marilyn at Unshelved Words. As another with chronic illness and immune issues (I have no spleen from ITP and I'm a 3 year breast cancer survivor), I understand completely about art being an outlet -- a wonderful outlet. Perfectionism? I gave at the office...and I've given up for more than just lent..I realized about 3 years ago that being a perfectionist was literally killing me. I have goals, I have my own "bar" that I set but perfection? Just doesn't exist. Glad to meet you and I wish you every success with your art and blessings with your health.

Sherry/Cherie said...

Patti, thank you for your message on my blog and please, feel free to link me to yours as I will add you to mine.

When you say you are putting your art out in the universe (for sale) you didn't say where - where do you sell your pieces?

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