Perfection and art: achieving and art achieving the unachievable
As a self proclaimed perfectionist I often find myself trapped inside mental hell. Chalk this up to my naturally obsessive personality and we have a recipe for disaster. The rush of fear and insecurity when attempting to do something with an idea in mind, only to not have it come out the way you envisioned it, can be exhausting. Even to this day I struggle with the constant need for everything I put out to be perfect. Of course I know better, but still my stubbornness persists. The late great art critic Robert Huges once stated that “ Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize “. An interesting take on the idea of seeking perfection, as it implies that anyone with such foolish pride will not only fail to achieve the unachievable but in having such delusions of grandeur, will only garner a feeble prize. This quote speaks to the naivete, or lack of self awareness in one self, a certain degree of immaturity perhaps. Hughes' quote also implies that those who are self aware realize that the act of creating art is valuable enough, and that true mastery is an ever evolving process, one that takes years and years of cultivation. It is in these inevitable feelings of self doubt, that we as artists are able to reach deep into our souls and find the courage to keep creating. The growth comes from consistently overcoming the same fears that hold you back. Bravery comes not only in creating art itself, but having the confidence to share your creations with the world. The act of perfection does not exist, for one, what you may deem a perfect body of work may be loathed by someone else. No two opinions are ever the same, it is extremely rare in today's day and age to find equal praise across the board for a particular piece of art, be it music, visual art, or cinema.
Perfection can only exist in one's mind, but never truly be achieved. You yourself can determine what is perfect to you ; opinion is all relative. I myself hold certain artists and musicians in high regard, and would go as far as to say that some of these artists have damn near “ perfect “ bodies of work. But who are these gatekeepers that determine whether something is perfect? What makes them so qualified to critique someone's art? And most importantly why should we care? In an age of false advertising and a sheer lack of authenticity, being oneself, flaws and all, can be quite refreshing. Nowadays we see artists becoming more transparent with the people that appreciate their work. Live videos have become the norm, allowing artists to talk directly to their followers in an intimate manner with just the click of a button. Youtubers with a myriad of interests have embraced technology to become makeshift critics, reviewing everything under the sun, from video games, movies, music, and tech. I myself am my own worst critic when it comes to my own art; interestingly enough, I also love to debate and critique. Intelligent discourse can lead to some amazing breakthroughs, as long as this catharsis is healthy and not toxic; surely a hard feat to pull off in today's sensitive age. While I cannot say I will ever beat the “ perfection bug “ at least now I can laugh at my own absurdity and realize when my obsessive nature has gone too far; now where is my consolation prize?