The Greatest Enemy to Your Art

Perfection – it’s something breed into us at a young age and though we understand the concept – I find myself constantly questions “what actually is perfection anyway?”  Everyday I’m greeted with a new way with some format of how I’m falling short of this impossible bar – whether it be in my appearance, my car, my house, my job, what I eat, even the daily grind of my life – society is always dictating to us this idea of “if you are perfect in this area you will be happy.”

The sad lie behind this statement is that perfection – in its truest nature – can never be achieved.  There will always be something new thing to strive for or some new trend/ideology to pursue.  

Which brings me to the place where this ideology really hits home for me – ART.  This idea of perfectionism in art drives me mad – not because of outside pressure – but rather because of the small inner voice inside my head that constantly berates me when things don’t go according to plan.  

I am most definitely a perfectionist – there is no running away from it.  But often my perfectionism robs me of the one thing I truly find pleasure in.  The passion and progress of learning something new, discovering a new supply, or just playing around with the unexpected of color mixing.  

Perfectionism also can rob me of my creativity and my ability to draw/create new and even wacky things that might not necessarily be accepted by everyone.  

And guess what – “perfectly” FINE.  

Hence the reason we have sketchbooks and journal that don’t see the light of day other than to our eyes.   

This is why a couple of years back – I began trying to create and really live in this mindset of the motto – “Progress – not perfection.”   If started noticing if I see things more as a journey and less as they say a destination – I started to appreciate more what I had, love more that I had achieved, and even enjoy where I was instead of feel sad about where I was not.   

This has become my mantra when it comes to creating art.

This mindset started bleeding into my art and I actually began to see more improvement and progress quicker than when I was constantly striving to create the perfect art piece.  

Hence why I’m writing this post – If you really want to improve your art easily and quickly – change your mindset.  Instead of trying to create the “most perfect art piece” working on anything and everything that sticks your fancy (even if it seems “stupid”).  Allowing your brain to work in this head space gives it freedom to connect dots and even improve (which is what we all desire when it comes to our own art journeys. ?  

So I hope this post helped somewhat else out there who may be struggling with perfectionism.   Take my advice and let it go.  You might be surprised how heavy that burden is to bear and also how quickly you start to fly when it’s released.  

About Author

Hi there! My name is Carrie and I'm a Watercolor Misfit! What's a Watercolor Misfit? Well, anyone who is willing to try new things and not afraid to get their hands covered in paint! So what do you say, are you a Misfit-ian?


  • Joyce
    May 28, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    Amen Carrie… well said! Thank you ?

  • Joyce
    May 28, 2021 at 8:44 pm

    Thank you!!!!

  • Anna
    July 28, 2023 at 8:31 am

    I also consider myself a perfectionist. And I consider that a problem. But like you, I enjoy every step of the way. Every new trick I’ve mastered. I like painting with watercolors, but I’m still at the beginning of my way.
    I would love to learn how to paint fantastic animals like your cat! He’s great!


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