Today’s post is a bit of departure from me sharing journal pages or prints that I’m working on, but bear with my rambling. If it speaks to you – great. If not, move on to the next website and have a wonderful day.
I’ve been totally immersed in print making this past month, in particular printing with things found in nature. I went to the woods near my home yesterday morning to find some items to print with and found myself stuck.
I’d been walking for ages without finding the perfect things to print with or the perfect leaves for color inspiration. And I found myself getting really frustrated. After some huffing and puffing, it hit me: I wasn’t going to find a perfectly colored leaf, a perfectly formed pine cone or a perfectly textured stick. And really, why was I even trying?
Isn’t everything in nature imperfect? No one thing is exactly the same – they all have slight variations in colors, size, texture and pattern. Whether they’re leaves, trees, fungi, grass, flowers or people! Their beauty is in their uniqueness and their perceived imperfections. What an incredibly boring place the world would be if everything and everyone were the same.
I know why I was trying. Because I try to make the artwork I create perfect. Like many people, the time and energy I invest in trying to create a perfect journal, a perfect print or perfect journal page is mind boggling. I’m a big fan of high standards and putting out the best work you possibly can – but perfectionism is paralyzing. As Voltaire wisely put it:
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
So, I filled my paper bag with less than perfect objects from the forest floor. The leaves are a bit crumpled and brown, the acorn caps have been chewed by a squirrel and the bottom of the pine cone isn’t flat. And guess what? The prints I made were great and I’ll share them here next week.
Next time I’m struggling with this (which I do almost every day), I’ll try to think back to yesterday and my brown bag full of imperfect things.