Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Step Backwards, but Okay

I just finished printing my second version of a woodcut portrait of a really adorable white bulldog. I was 95% happy with the first one I did, everyone I showed it to (including the artists in my life) thought it was super, and my client probably wouldn't have noticed the little things that I didn't like...but I'm so glad I redid it! It's so much better. Those little things that weren't quite right the first time made all the difference in the world. A much stronger piece.

I'd love to BE the best at what I do, but DOING the best I CAN at what I do has to be my standard. I just think a little sloppy or accepting less that my best is a baddddd slippery slope. I have to go forward, get better, not fall backwards.

And let me tell you, dear fellow artists, it was so tempting to just say "good enough!" In fact, I thought about it for two days before I finally decided that morally and "artwise", I just couldn't accept 95% of my personal best.

So even though it seems that I took a step backwards, having gone back and started from scratch, I just feel it moved me forward a notch because I learned and improved. So one step backward and two forward, not a bad outcome.

I hope the same is true for you in your art life. I hope you're really striving for YOUR 100% and not settling for less than you're capable of. Our runway is short, we just have to take every opportunity to grow!

And this brings me to no commissions right now. I have done pretty well this spring, and am looking forward to a summer of some goofing off, and lots of working on things I've been wanting to do for a while. I'm going to take a few weeks off of marketing, as well. It's vacation time. We're going away, sitting in the garden, and hanging out. Time to refuel!


Ghislaine Bruno said...

Re-doing something you might have done better is definitely NOT going backwards. Just doing yourself and your art a favour.
I feel that this "good enough" attitude is more frequent with commissioned work than with work I create with no requisite at all. I think it's because I'm usually artistically reluctant to what the customer wants... but accept the commision both for money and as a challenge.

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Absolutely Robin! Those 95%'s will haunt you!

Lisa Ullrich said...

I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I totally agree! Have fun on your break. I wish I could go away somewhere...

Robin said...

Ghislaine, you make a great point, commissions ARE challenging, and they DO push you to grow in directions you might not have otherwise wandered down!

CIAB, I learned it in knitting. I like to knit very complex patterns, and even if nobody else can see the "mistake", I ALWAYS can see it!

Lisa, thanks for commenting. I hope we can get away soon, something's popped up, but hopefully soon!

twincedar said...

Hi Robin, I have something for you at my blog!