I have learnt a very important truth lately, and as the title suggests, that there is really no such thing as a mistake, for every day opens up new opportunities to explore with a greater understanding in all facets of life. Opportunities of growth can be found doing everyday tasks like folding your washing, driving your car and painting a picture… and it is the latter where my new learning begins.
My particular “Aha” moment came while painting a little series of pieces on paper. I was working on two pieces simultaneously so they both had a similar colour, pattern, shape and theme, but they were very different pieces.
I felt I gave one much more attention than the other and it made me stop and question why I was doing this. Why did I not like each piece equally?
I actually considered throwing away the piece I didn’t feel met my standards, but there was something about it that was begging me to go deeper with the self-questioning.
The piece was not perfect in my eyes in that moment; it didn’t meet my perception of what I thought to be pleasing to the eye, so I disregarded it and threw the artwork to the side. However, I stopped and reclaimed it as I realised that nothing is perfect, everything in life is imperfectly beautiful in its own unique way, much like we are.
Perfection is not an achievable goal. It’s an endless road that just comes with more obstacles. It pushes us out of our natural rhythm into a never-ending game of trying to achieve an unobtainable marker that depletes us “quick sticks”.
The continual push for attaining perfection leads me to exhaustion and a never-ending story plays out in my head of other ways I can reach my desired point. It’s a brutal path that inevitably leads nowhere.
Our unique essence is intertwined into everything we express in this world and that includes that single piece of paper I was so haphazardly going to throw away. It was like I was throwing away a piece of me: I was giving up on me. I wasn’t being accepting and allowing time and space to share what is there to be shared when it is ready. So this is true in life and in art, as they are one and the same.
So what did I do next? I simply stopped and left the artwork for a day, and boy did that feel fantastic!
Do you know what the best part of the process was? It involved no drive or push for a perfect result. Each piece of artwork was able to be exactly how it was, with no attachment to an outcome or push for perfection.
This ever growing awareness and sense of calm allows greater opportunities for new ways of looking at life overall and I feel that is a pretty awesome tool to hold in my ever growing toolkit for life.
The best part is that my stress levels for getting to the desired destination of perfection have dissipated and I enjoy the journey a whole lot more. I never know where I will end up – that’s what makes life so much more fun, don’t you think?
Now the artwork is as perfectly imperfect as the other piece.
So never give up on finding your true masterstroke, it is there – it’s not a mistake, it just needs clarity and space to flourish in its own unique way, just like us.
By Kelly Zarb, Retail Manager / Artist, Melbourne, Australia