Process, Progress and Perfection
I’m just realizing now how much of a perfectionist I am when it comes to my art. I never seem to be 100% satisfied. I need to make a conscious effort to put down the brush, pen or mouse lest I overwork the image. Once, I’ve managed to do that, I inevitably begin to analyze my work and can still find 20 adjustments that I would have liked to make so that my piece is just “perfect”.
Lately I feel as I have been caught up in my own little hurricane of projects, assignment and deadlines. It’s nice to take a moment to stop breathe and take stock of things. Like climbing and struggling through the rough terrain deep in a forest, and making it to a vantage point to take a break, it's nice to admire the scenery, and look below to see how far you’ve come. Similar to a hike, you get a boost of energy and renewed sense of passion to keep moving forward when you stop and take a moment to survey the all changes and the different ways you’ve developed in your work. Whenever I start to feel my life is tipping out of control, my wheel are spinning and I’m frothing at the mouth like the Tasmanian devil, I try to remember to stop, breathe and reflect.
I like to listen to different podcast while I’m working. In particular, I enjoy and appreciate the insights of Ira Glass on This American Life. A few months ago I came across a short video illustrating his pep talk to those of us that find ourselves at the beginning of their creative journey.
I like to revisit it every now and then to remind myself that we are all in the middle of our life’s journey.
I love his words of wisdom on closing the gap. His talk about being patient with the process and keeping your eyes on the prize is humourous, witty and inspiring. It's a reminder that every creative goes through the same roller coaster of emotions and struggles. It’s also heartening reminder that we are not alone in our efforts to create something out of nothing.
I’ve learned to stop, let myself park the adjustments and criticisms in the section of my brain called “remember for next time” and truly appreciate what I’ve done up to that point. Keep moving forward, but every now and then it’s fun to take a look back to take stock of just how far you’ve come in whatever endeavor it is that you are challenging yourself to try. Give yourself a pat on the back and forgive any imperfections and just keep on doing it every day until that gap is finally closed. Onward and upward my friends!
As promised, here are a few sneak peaks of the two issues if my zine, "Cosmic Brews" that I'll be selling at Canzine Toronto 2015 on Saturday October 17 at the AGO from 1-7 pm. It looks like it's going to be a fun day full of activities for all ages!
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Marcia Iwasaki is an illustrator, author and designer. I'm always on the lookout for things that bring a smile, joy and whimsy to life.