art blog

Perfectionism and Art

Becoming a master of your craft takes years of practice, courage and strength.


It is why this year’s theme is “An Awfully Big Adventure.” Your creativity will take you on the grandest of adventures if you let it.

Art helps us find who we are.

Art helps us find who we are; it helps us discover new things about ourselves and our world. Art is the process of falling in love- in love with your craft and with yourself.

Because art is discovering love, because it is allowing yourself to be vulnerable- it is so easy for negativity to pull you down- it is so easy for your own thoughts to get the better of you.

(Check out this navigating insight on how to find confidence and self-esteem in your art and life.)

It is so easy for your own thoughts to get the better of you.


Often, I see individuals who have so much potential and love for creating- but are constantly doubting themselves- afraid that they will make a mistake, an error that is irrevocable (and let it be said that I struggle with perfectionism too). This is a dangerous place to be because it stops you from taking the next step on your adventure.

Doubt in the journey of art is like a fence (and its not a big fence mind you- more like a small, picket fence- no taller than three feet). Scurrying around, trying to find the gate, the fence has stopped your progress. That fence is usually a matter of a misplaced line or an incorrect color.

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”
William Shakespeare

Pieces of mastery don’t occur after the first try. That is why they are masterpieces- because you have mastered your craft- you understand it as best as humanly possible.

The master artists- Leonardo da Vinci, Michael Angelo, Rafael- they became masters because they dedicated their life to discovery. Just like astronomers discovering new planets, building telescopes and observing the stars, artists are the scientists of design. The skills of observation and the time it takes to understand and gain perspective of your discoveries takes the same amount of time as astronomers gathering data on the universe. And there is still so much more to discover!

(Often in perfection we find ourselves stating “I don’t know.” This TedTalk dives into why it is so important to not always have the answer.)

Artists are the scientists of design.


In reality- the metaphorical fence (the smudge on your canvas, the incorrect proportions on a face or the squiggly line)- is not holding you back- you are. Find the gate, or heck, hop over the fence- it’s not that tall.

Create from your heart and soul.

Challenge yourself- grapple with new and exciting ideas, discover that you are strong and intuitive and smart and kind and important and so full of awesomeness! Create from your heart and soul. Do not strive for perfection- create because you love it- create and discover new perspectives because the adventure just seems too good to pass up.

~Emily Lawler
Creative Person

(PS: For Further Reading: If I can add two more cents- often perfection is the opposite of gratitude. Because in striving for perfection, you are attempting to obtain something you don’t have. Gratitude is the key to happiness and the key to letting go of tendencies of perfection.)