When I go to bed at night I have a routine. I switch all the lights off, brush my teeth then I check the front door to make sure its locked. I try the handle, push the door shut then check the lock, then I try the handle, push the door and check the lock, then I try the handle, push the door and check the snib. I do this continually until it feels right then I go to bed.
Yes, I have a little OCD. Its a friend of anxiety's, so wherever he goes OCD comes to the party too. When I look at the door I can clearly see its locked, when I check the door the first time its clearly locked, and when I check it the seventh time its clearly locked. The door was locked so I shouldve just walked away and left it and I would've enjoyed 6 more precious minutes in bed. Hard to do at times but its something I need to work on.
I waste approximately 2184 minutes a year doing this. My point you ask? Well, if we spend too much time trying to perfect things we waste time. This is very relevant when being an artist, or in pretty much anything we do for that matter. I could paint 2 more paintings per year with those minutes!
For a long time I've admired other artists work and paid attention to the high quality of the work they produce. From that I always made sure that my work was as close to perfect as I could get it. No visible brush marks, no spots of white, clean edges, no bumps or marks etc. It wasnt until I started doing gallery shows that I noticed when I looked closely at other artists work that they were not perfect at all, but when I stood back and looked at their work it was amazing to look at and looked professional and clean. I instantly thought back to the hours I spent fussing to extremes over little marks on my paintings. That time couldve been spent more wisely on other important areas of my art. Oh well, got to make these mistakes to learn from them haven't we?
Nowadays I put my focus into my art but restrain myself from spending too much time fussing over minor detail. I still want it to look the best it can, but Ive learned how to leave it alone. When its done its done. Its hard to know at first, but you need to find something to help you. I always find that taking a photo of my work tricks my mind into seeing it with new eyes. The time Ive saved when applying this state of mind to my work is phenomenal.
Dont spend too much time fussing over small minor detail as it will only hold you back. You don't see what they see. The Sydney opera house is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. Just shy of 11 million people a year visit it. When you see it on TV or from a distance it looks like a sparkly white gift from Odin. But when you actually see it up close the tiles are a browny off white shade as white would be too reflective with the sun. And the tiles are dirty and plastered in bird shit. You see what I'm saying? Learn to know when to leave something alone and put that spare energy into something more productive. This can apply to all areas of life.
The search for perfection is a flaw in itself.
6 minutes is a long time.
Thanks for reading. Chat soon!
Art is for everyone. Sully ❤