Friday, 29 May 2009

More 'flaws' than Selfidges!

Detail of "Ginger Bliss" 12" x 12" 2008. 
(Cotton, bubble wrap and bobbin quilting)

As a child and young women my drive for 'perfection' would often lead to frustration, trantrums and tears. With maturity I have learnt to adopt a more 'laissez faire' approach to many aspects of my life and whilst I will always try my best  I am now able to accept the notion of "let do".   I have come to appreciate that perfection , like beauty,  is very much in the eye of the beholder and what is considered  a so called 'defect' by one will be viewed as a 'style element'  by another. For many of us it is often a natural response to counter praise by drawing attention to our imperfections. I am not quite sure why we do this - perhaps to cover congratulatory embarrassment  or most probably because we believe our mistakes detract from the work. We become focused on 'the parts'  instead of appreciating the 'whole' .  I am sure I am not the only one eho has heard the response  " well if you hadn't have said ... I wouldn't have known"  when pointing out a so-called mistake?    I have a friend who is afraid to make mistakes. She is not able to 'let-go', let things be and develop her own style. She will accept nothing less than perfection and  as a result makes very little. She is a follower of  Seneca who said "quality is better than quantity" ?  But there is also a view that suggests  it is better to create imperfect work today than to wait until you have achieved perfection tomorrow.  I now agree with the later view. Whilst my work may not be perfect I am at least creating and with each new creation I learn something new, improve a known technique, refine my skill base and become more familiar with my own strengths and weaknesses. All of my work has  flaws in it. Yes I will 'rip' and redo major trouble spots but I will now question if it is necessary to do so beforehand and I no longer draw attention to them if I decide to leave them because they are the essence of what makes my work mine!   


Trudi said...

Gosh, I havn't been to a good Selfridges for years :o) I'm with you on the creative process that is also a learning process rather than perfection. I've learnt more of late, probably an age/maturity thing as well as a willingness to see new opportunites in what I do. Great post, thanks for sharing your own thoughts.

Sewing Granny said...

How can you hope to make a masterpiece if you do not have lots of practice first! I have a little motto stuck to my workroom wall it is this:- Never be afraid of trying some thing new. Remember that a lone amature built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic!.
Another one I like is :- Failure is not always a mistake, it may be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.

Both these remind me every day to 'just get on with it' and to remember that only God is perfect.

Quilt Historians say that many of the old quilters never corrected errors in their quilts because of this belief. What was good enough for them is good enough for me.