“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” ~ Marilyn Monroe
Some people find beauty in perfection; I cherish the beauty in “imperfection”. As an artist, and as a person, it feels strange to say it (especially given that I am, by nature, a perfectionist in most every area of my life)…. but it’s also completely true.
I feel bored and uninspired by the “perfect” flowers I see at the grocery store, but if I see flowers in someone’s garden with a little bit of superficial damage from the elements I can’t help but snap a picture. When I see jewelry which looks like it came off of a factory line, identical to all the rest, I recognize how lovely it is- but the beauty feels impersonal to me. I feel most excited when I see a handcrafted item with an occasional hammer mark or texture- something which sets it apart from the rest. When I see paintings I look for the brush strokes which look slightly out of place up close but enhance the overall piece.
In all things, I look for the perfection in the imperfect- the human touch. The distinctive mark which makes something a genuine one-of-a-kind is my idea of perfection. I desire to create, capture or honor the isolated piece which doesn’t perfectly fit in isolation, but makes the whole better for its distinctiveness.
When I look at the pictures I love to take, or the art I love to make, I see that general outlook as being thematic to my work. I strive for perfection in technique and I remove any imperfections which are distracting to my vision- but I rarely strive to remove them all. Sometimes, if I make a piece too perfectly, I will intentionally add a mark- something small- even unnoticeable to most- to distinguish it from others of similar design. To my eye, so-called imperfections enhance beauty, both in artwork and in life. They imply history, character and originality- all of which are beautiful things to me.
What is beautiful to you?
The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. ~Anna Quindlen