Imperfect creativity is natural and good enough.
Anything that requires creativity has a human touch and humans are imperfect. This idea is still hard to assimilate. At some point in our lives, we’re taught to avoid mistakes and get flawless results.
Recently, I thought about my literature teacher in high school. Our discussions in class tended to lead to all kinds of random topics. One day, he expressed his frustration at some students that were obsessed with getting perfect marks. His words were unforgettable:
“In this life, you have to deal with the fact that you’re not perfect.”
He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that statement sounded too harsh at the time, but the wisdom is there. If you think about it, life itself is imperfect.
So why is it worth hanging onto perfection?
Perfectionism is connected to your self-worth and is something you probably have to keep working on to overcome.
That’s another hard pill to swallow. In the Western culture, this is a constant struggle. Aim to be perfect or go home. On the other hand, in other cultures of the world, embracing imperfection is normal.
For example, there’s the Japanese idea of wabi-sabi. Leonard Koren, author of Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers, defines it as “the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.”
I love the idea of finding beauty in the imperfect. There’s value in creating, doing your best to give it form, and releasing it to the world and let it be in its full glory with glitches included.
Creations are never complete. There’s always an improvement to make or a new version to start from scratch. After all, wabi-sabi is based on the cycles of nature, which are constantly changing. No creation ever stays the same.
With this concept in mind, how can you embrace imperfect creativity in your daily life?