Art vs. Perfection

One of our projects in class was to create a poster for a Shakespearean play with one catch, we had to make a version that was digital and a version that was physical. The purpose of the project was to not only get a break from the screen that we spend hours upon hours looking at but also re-inspire us, and kind of fall in love with our physical art all over again.

My digital version of the poster.

After the critique for the project, our professor had us sit around the table and talk about what we thought of this project and why. As we went around the room we heard varying opinions. Many of us had the idea that we preferred digital art because it allowed us to get as close to perfection as designers can. With digital art we are allowed to create something, change our minds a thousand times, and still be able to go back to the original idea without any consequence. There is no Cmd-Z (Ctrl-Z) with physical art, we cannot just click delete and have a stray line disappear, and we are not able to change colors with a click of a button.

Then our conversation led us to this discussion of why is our generation is so obsessed with this idea of perfection? We are scared of failure and not being able to reach perfection so much that we put ourselves in this designers box. Some of us believe that it is due to the unrealistic expectations that sites like Pinterest and Behance give us, while others said the obsession is fueled because of the fierce competition that is connected with our field, with so many of us out there competing for the same job why would anyone choose your work if it is not absolutely perfect? Therefore putting ourselves in our little box. At the end of the conversation our professor, Steven Brower, said, “I will tell you guys a secret all great designers know: Nothing will ever be perfect.” I don’t know why it finally clicked now, but I understand what Sue Jenkins, one of my other professors, was trying to tell us when she said “celebrate the failures, and rejections”. Although our professors are guiding us on the path to becoming great designers, they also trying to tell us that there is always room for improvement, and perfection is but a mere myth.

When the original project was assigned I dreaded it. I hated the idea because I was scared that my physical art would not be good enough and I would fail. To my surprise, our professor thought it was well done which gave me the boost of confidence I needed to love creating physical art again. Overall, I really am grateful for this project and lesson. It allowed me to fall in love with my physical art, and allowed me to accept and appreciate all of arts or even life’s imperfections. I would proudly say this was my favorite project to date.

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