CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007
perfect is not always good
Today I went to City Hall to take down my show. It didn't take long at all, always faster taking down a show than putting it up. I even met the mayor (but I think he thought that I was working there) he asked me what art show was coming next. So I told him. It's Jim Dine and Claus Oldenberg. Nice to be followed by such esteemed artists! Now I can say I showed at city hall before them. ha!

Then after that I ran to the art store to pick up more canvases then came home and started working. Then came home and worked on custom artwork orders (don't wait! Now's the time to get your Christmas orders in!) and then also tackled artwork for my new book.

The first part of my new book is due Nov 1st and I am getting all bunched up about it. I have been going through a hyper critical phase this past week where nothing I make is good enough and it is driving me crazy. All this perfectionism is really making it difficult to get work done. I no sooner select a color or an idea and then I go "no that's not good enough" and then I start over. Ugh! I need to shake this. I do this anytime I start on a major new project and it's very annoying. Perfectionism is the opposite of creativity and thinking something needs to be perfect is the worst way to start a creative project.

There's no easy way to resolve it when I get in this state of mind. Usually I keep forging ahead and keep making imperfect art until one day I wake up and am accepting of my (imperfect) work again. Sometimes it takes a couple weeks. It can get really old during those weeks though trying to shut up my inner voice that keeps saying "that's not good enough" ugh! shush nasty voice! Shush I tell you!

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COMMENTS:
Use the overnight fairy to make things better - let it set overnight - while you sleep the fairy comes, waives the wand, and POOF...its better than you thought in the morning! It works like a charm!
Hang in there!
Tammy
 
"Perfectionism is the opposite of creativity..."
My new favorite quote! Even though you may not be feeling very "inspired" lately, you are still inspiring others of us. Thanks!
 
Hi,
We are always our own worst critics huh? And... telling that nasty little voice to shush is the Perfect Remedy!
I love your work, love your style - you are a wonderful inspiration!

hugs,
 
Oh it is so good to know I'm not the only one who goes through that...:)
 
Oh Goodness! I've been going through the same thing right now. A painting that I started for fun is really turning into a booger because I'm being too critical. I wish I knew the answer of how to make the nasty voice shush! I'm going to remember what you said, "Perfectionism is the opposite of creativity."

~By the way, all of your work is always so wonderful. I don't know how any of it could be bad!
 
Claudine,

Perfectionism is overrated and unattainable. Keep plugging away, and ask some of your artist friends for their opinions. Sometimes it's uplifting to hear from others that our work is still good, and realize that we're just looking at it through the wrong filter.
 
thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your successes. It makes me realize that we all deal with the same creative demons. your work is brilliant and I'm sure the next book will be too!!!
 
i do that all the time! today a friend was here and i was showing her one of my pieces and i found myself justifying my artwork. i was nervous she didn't like it so i always feel obligated to justify it. i start painting over all the time.

you rock! you can do this!
 
hooray Claudine!

love your "perfectionism is the opposite of creativity" bet you have helped more than a few folks today! At least you know this is a pattern for you, imagine you have already worked with your coach on your self-critic!? From most viewers perspective, I suspect better you care to much than too little, leads to all those delightful details when you find your "happy medium"!

Even though you expect to go through this, have you ever tried making some deliberately "bad" pieces, really giving yourself something to be critical of?! might at least give you some giggles!

love Toby's super pumpkin cape! Such a character!!!

all the best from here....
 
Inner critics just about never have anything good or useful to say...yet we listen to them anyway! I find it helpful to personify mine, just so I can separate the voice from "me," so to speak. Mine happens to be Commodore Norrington from Pirates of the Caribbean, LOL! I wrote a piece on Witty Way to Defeat Your Inner Commodore on my blog (because darn it, these voices are a problem).

Good luck today on squelching your nasty critic! It is definitely LYING to you.
 
Wish that negative broad would just shut up...What does she know, anyway?!!?

Listen to your real friends who love your work. I also believe in re-evaluating the next day after some sleep. Fresh eyes do help.
 
I have one of those voices too, and it drives me to distraction. I have an eight year old son who is so artistic and has one of these voices. I am trying to knock it out of both of us! LOL Thanks for sharing and being such a 'Real' person. I have just recently purchased your DVD and your book and I love it, also thought you were great on Martha. Just keep doing what you are doing and you can't go wrong,
 
Hi Claudine! Gosh, I feel the same way sometimes. I think artists in general are really hard on themselves. So much of us goes into the art we make and it becomes very personal, so we want it to be perfect.

I am inspired by you every day and I think your artwork is simply fun and wonderful and celebrates so many good things.

Keep on working through it :-)
 
i'm in kind of the same spot, i'm on the tail end of working on my next book, everything is due nov 1st. i wish i had more time to make things the way i want but i don't and i want to cry. such pressure, isn't it? these decisions we make will be in print forever, ack, i don't want to add stress!! ok, i better get back to work, but before i do i want you to know that you are truly gifted and anything you do will turn out magnificent and we will all want to make it so we will all buy your book!!! see you at cha in feb!!
 
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