The answer is you. The dynamic of criticism can be set to many levels and when we are our own best critic, sometimes we like to bury ourselves.
I believe that everyone has a creative hand. Personally, I like to bring forth people’s creativity, sometimes even force it out. People are judgmental of their own work. They believe that there has to be worth in one’s art, not happiness. Maybe there is happiness in worth, but I question. Why do people create with the intention of other people’s opinions? What is the definition of perfect? What is perfect to us? What does it have to be perfect?
I’ve gotten questions about how I post my work and in a way exposing myself or being vulnerable. Yes, I agree it is vulnerable and time-consuming. Mentally consuming. I think the hardest thing in life is commitment. We commit to family, we commit to friends, we commit to our partners, our jobs, ourselves. In some of those commitments, it is less than others. With all this commitment there is effort, With effort there is perfectionism. I wouldn’t call myself a perfectionist but a complete-ist? (Is that even a word?)
In my dictionary of made-up words, a complete-ist is:
( it is actually a word, but I am going to make up a new definition)
I mean this in the best way. A complete-ist is just a hard worker like a perfectionist. Except they are less hard on themselves. But it is human nature to be conscious, self-absorbed, with expectations. At the end of the day, it’s you with you.
So, why am I writing this? Why am I bring this up? Just to tell “it’s going to be okay, don’t be hard on yourself.” I want you to know that you are not alone in your perfectionism, and you are not alone in just completing the minimum or above. This doesn’t apply only to creative work, but to life, your job, school, and relationships. To cast you away into the broadness of things, your work, your being is one out of billions of strangers. Yes, cliche, but how many of those people have that “good job” mentality, all of them. I think with the best intentions (hopefully) we want to be creatively successful. I think the truth is, we create for our own benefit and pleasure. I like to make things because I am exuding my own frustrations into art. I believe that this year I have spend the most time creating and making art. But most of it I haven’t displayed for the public and I am sure I did not make a conscious choice on that. Naturally, I don’t create with the intent of other’s opinions, I might be inspired by my peers but not controlled.
But what if I make for myself but still hate it? That is the best problem to have because you can stop whenever you want and make the next version of it, start something else. It is a record of your progression and change, just how your art is supposed to change.
I am guilty of these so-called “failures” and hate, but I remember why I started something in the first place, and that eventually, I’ll get to the end of it.