Practice Makes Perfect?: How I Deal With Perfectionism As a Creative #AtoZChallenge

Hi everyone and welcome to my letter P post in the #AtoZChallenge on creativity. Like I’ve said a couple of times before, I can be quite a bit of a perfectionist. Today, I want to talk about that.

Of course people say that practice makes perfect. I disagree. Even after a lot of practice making unicorns out of polymer clay, I still make mistakes. You see, here’s my most recent unicorn.

As you can see, one of its ears is slightly bent backwards and its horn is slightly crooked. You may or may not be able to see this, but the heart-shaped platform on which it stands is also slightly curved.

Sometimes, when my creation is really off and I don’t find out until after I’ve baked it, I throw it straight into the trash. That rarely happens now. In this sense, I’m not that much of a perfectionist, in that I do let less-than-perfect creations remain and even share them online.

When I still work on a project though, I try my best to perfect it. I don’t accept a mediocre result from myself when there’s still room for me to improve on it.

It does, however, feel slightly discouraging knowing that, even after months of practising, I still can’t create the perfect unicorn. I’d like to move on to something else, but if I’m still not able to craft this sculpture exactly as I want it, how can I move on?

Of course, I can, and I do craft other things besides unicorns. But doing a different design for a unicorn would feel like giving up on this particular design. And I have just a little too much experience having to give up on a technique or an entire craft.

Do I seriously not believe that practice makes perfect? Maybe I do believe it, but not in my own case. And maybe that’s a thing of low self-esteem and it needs to change. After all, maybe just practising sculpting the same unicorns using the same techniques a thousand times won’t make me perfect, but I could still ask advice from other polymer clay artists on how they’ve prevented their slabs, for example, from going curved. That way, maybe my next unicorn will be another step closer to perfect.

17 thoughts on “Practice Makes Perfect?: How I Deal With Perfectionism As a Creative #AtoZChallenge

  1. I think that you learn as you go and at least you are working to improve your skill. I think you will find a way to master it. i have some vision but not enough to really see the details in the sculpture but your description is helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for stopping by and for encouraging me. I am so glad my description helped you a little. I’m assuming you haven’t seen any of my other unicorns. If it helps, like all the others, this one is a sitting unicorn. It sits on a dark purplish blue heart-shaped slab. The unicorn’s body and head are a light purple. I think I did the hooves, ears and horn in a darker purple and the mane and tail in the same color as the heart-shaped slab. The mane and tail are made from a snake that I folded in half and then twisted into itself to create a curl. I mixed all of the colors myself from recipes I bought off Etsy so, if you can’t see the colors in this picture clearly, I cannot direct you to a package of polymer clay to have a closer look. Anyway, I really should be providing image descriptions with the photos I post on my blog.

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes, maybe I should have chosen “Progress” as my word for my letter P post. Indeed, no-one’s perfect but we all make progress.

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