Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. Anne Lamott




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“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor”  This should be the anthem of every artist in the world. Whether a painter, writer, calligrapher or poet we all need to embrace the imperfect. We need to literally hope for flaws because it is the flaws that catch an eye, flaws that create texture and flaws that give art life and humanity. If we were not drawn to the imperfect  then we would have no need for human created art, computer generated art would suffice.

Allowing imperfection in our artistic lives gives us the room to try new art forms. Being comfortable with making mistakes is what makes a sculpture decide to try painting or a calligrapher try blogging and drawing. Indeed allowing the imperfect to be part of our lives is what gives us the confidence to try anything we haven’t done before.

So often on an art board or in an online artists group someone will post  a piece and then write a caveat about how they know it’s not good or that there are flaws. Stop! Have you ever taken a really close look at a Van Gogh? There are spots in every painting and drawing that are down right messy, down right imperfect. But he was a master and his art is lyrical in part because of the “flaws” and the areas  that catch our eye and create an emotion.

The two drawings above are flawed. They are imperfect. There are problems with everything from crooked lines and un-round circles to poor perspective. And that is just fine. They are not meant to be perfect, they are meant to practice and to learn and to be a starting point to what might someday be a better (though never perfect) drawing.

Hopefully more artists will to feel pride in all their art,, the really good and the well it’s a start kind of art. That is why you will see my “imperfect” art posted as readily as my really good stuff. Maybe it will encourage someone stuck in the perfection oppression to break out and try finger painting or spatter art.

Maybe some painter will try stand up comedy or a poet will break out the modelling clay.  Perfect is an impossible task master. A true tyrant in our own minds, one that keeps us from trying and striving and experimenting with all the art forms that are out there.

In other words, let’s have some fun.

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