I recently read an Etsy article (written for and distributed to people who have Etsy shops) that focused on imperfection. Apparantly, lots of Etsy crafters/artists/sellers struggle with listing items. I’m not talking about technical issues with listing items, but a struggle that comes from a desire for perfection. That’s something I can definitely relate to.
Perfectionism isn’t always something I struggle with. There’s a pile of wallboard rubble at my feet as I type this–strong evidence that I can live with mess, at least to some degree. But I think everybody struggles with wanting certain things to be perfect. For me, one of those things is my image as an “artist.”
I don’t actually consider myself an artist. Not really. I just like to paint, and I like some of the paintings I create. Some other people have said that they like my paintings, too. So presenting myself as an artist in an online shop is a constant struggle between wanting to present as many items as possible to fill out the shop and wanting to present a cohesive brand that’s as perfect as possible.
Until today, I had been going mostly with the “as perfect as possible” theme. I listed only the items I would take to an art critique. Today, I posted items that maybe weren’t formal enough or were painted too long ago (high school!).
And you know what surprised me? I’m glad that all of those paintings are posted online. Some of them are incredibly cheerful. Others have a nice decorative vibe, even if they aren’t fine paintings. Maybe someone needs that burst of perkiness or that small piece of decoration. (Need being a relative term.)
I was proud of the way my shop looked before. It was mostly full of muted colors and relatively realistic (if simple) landscapes. Now there’s more ridiculousness. Because of that, my shop looks more like me today than it ever has before. I do think there’s something to be said for imperfection. There’s life in imperfection.
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Imperfection can be a great characteristic. It allows us to recognize beauty where it does not exist for many other people. Then there is that crooked smile we so adore or the one eyebrow lift that catches our attention. I love imperfection. Those who think they are perfect miss the whole point and, thus, miss some of the most important times of life.
You are a lot braver than I am, I still won’t try and sell any of my artwork because I feel it’s not perfect enough! Something I struggle with too…
I would subscribe to Code Mush so fast (if that suddenly became an option). I hope you still find time for lots of Mush-worthy art with your adorable family addition.
Here! Here! Well done. I have been selling my art for almost three years now and that was something I learned early on that surprised and delighted me. Just because I don’t absolutely love the piece I just created doesn’t mean someone else won’t. It is super freeing as an “artist” to embrace that truth and just put the work out there.
I do like the work I saw in your shop today. I’ll just go ahead and assume that you love it, too. Hope you’re getting all excited about your newest family member!