Perfectionism and Creativity


“Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.”
- D. W. Winnicott

Lately, I’ve found myself in a bit of a creative rut (and by “lately,” I mean the past year or so).

Fear has a funny way of disguising itself as “perfectionism.” When trying different things when it came to photography or design, I would always find myself second-guessing my ideas. As a result, I would end up throwing most projects out the window. Sometimes, I would get to the point where I was almost finished with a personal project, but then I’d delete the entire thing because it wasn’t exactly as I had originally planned. Although we should always be trying to improve in our craft, the idea of perfectionism in art is actually a bit impossible. Let me let you guys in on a little secret – there’s no such thing as the “perfect” project. Because technology / your personal style is always evolving, there will always be an infinite number of tweaks you can make to an individual project. However, if you endlessly work on one project without ever completing it, are you really creating anything at all?

The three pictures at the top of this post were taken last night in a bit of an impromptu photo shoot (I’ve been making a habit of carrying my camera around with me when I leave the house). Since I usually only do my photo shoots outside in natural light, this mini shoot was way out of my comfort zone. Right after we took the photos, I imported them into my computer and started editing. As I started going through the pictures, I realized I had no idea what I was doing. However, I pushed past the doubts and finished editing the pictures. Although the pictures I took are definitely not my best work, I exported and uploaded them anyway. And guys – since last night, I’ve had so many new ideas for projects. After going for months without any kind of inspiration, it’s so refreshing to be able to fill up my notebook with new ideas.

If you’re in a creative rut – whether it be photography, design, writing, etc. – don’t be afraid to try something new. Even if the project you work on isn’t your best, it could spark a whole bunch of new ideas that you wouldn’t have even imagined beforehand.

I’ve set up a bit of a challenge for myself for July – I’m going to create something new every day. Whether it’s photography, design, blog stuff, or even music, I’m going to try my best to complete one small project on a daily basis. Want to join in on my little adventure? Leave a comment below and let me know! I’ll be posting weekly updates on my blog and I’d LOVE to see what you’re creating too!

Have a lovely week, friends. Go create something!

While you’re creating things, check out this weeks playlist.