your best is good enough

I swear to god after this I am really going to stop procrastinating. But I was just thinking about something.

I made some headpins the other day… they’re really simple. Sometimes simple is good.

Headpins by Uglibeads

I’ve seen others like them – they’re just one of the ‘standard’ headpin shapes you see out there. But once in a while you see some that are really poorly made. Which always gets me thinking.

I’ve been chatting with a few of my bead friends lately about beads they’ve purchased that were a big disappointment because the quality of the work was bad bad bad. Sloppy dots, really ragged bead holes… Beads with issues. Not my beads, of course. Everything I make is 100% perfect.

Ha!

If only that were true.

But I really feel that if you’re going to put your stuff out there, it should be the very best work you can do. Something you’re really proud to stand behind. Well constructed. Nicely finished. It’s true that everybody’s ‘best’ is different, and that’s ok – we’re all learning, and we all have different preferences, aesthetically. There’s also that kind of desirable and deliberate imperfect.

When you’re aiming for the best you can do, sometimes it means scrapping things that aren’t quite up to snuff. Like the green headpin on the far right in this pic – it goes in the reject pile because the wire isn’t quite embedded properly. I have a huge jar filled with my rejects and probably every other beadmaker does too. People who make jewelry are always tearing things apart, changing things, reworking until it’s ‘right’. Painters have reams of work that nobody ever sees.

Perfectionism can be sort of a disease that’s toxic to creativity. But I think you can create with process in mind (not perfection) and then select the best of it to represent you in places where you’re building a reputation. The experiments, the epiphanies, the creative leaps… those are for you, and if they’re imperfect, so much the better.

Any thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “your best is good enough

  1. I think your last paragraph nailed it. Creativity is about experimentation and expression and failing. Selling things is about practice and quality. That’s why people will say someone “sold out”, because they’ve stopped being creative. So there’s really a balancing act. Stay creative and experiment, but practice the things you want to sell until they’re high enough quality. If it were an easy formula, everyone would be doing it. 🙂

    • You’re right, I think that balance is the key. There is no quality without practice and often repetition… I think that’s part of the reason why selling stuff is anathema to so many artistic-type people… it puts a whole new spin on things and affects your creativity and process. Sometimes in good ways, but sometimes it’s a cloud over the pleasure of expressing yourself just for the joy and passion of it.

  2. When you become famous people will be clamouring for anything and everything you have made. Sometimes the first attempts are even more treasured than the obvious successes. Keep the jar and don’t discount the value of the contents!

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