In certain things one needs to accept …it’s NEVER going to be PERFECT

Whether it is a design (of a home or office), an art piece or a musical production…. if one waits until one achieves ‘perfection’, there is a significant possibility of never completing the project!  Why?

Well, in certain areas and activity things can be finite, can be calculated or determined exactly. When 1+1 = 2 or that support has to be X wide and made of Y to hold up that whatever  – then it can (and at times has to be) exact.

But in the creative space, this is not the case –  ‘perfect’ is arbitrary.
Whenever taste, like/dislike & emotional response is involved , there are no ABSOLUTE right or wrongs. So its a preference … and that can change day to day, when another option is presented, how you are feeling or affected by a number of other factors.
If one keeps exploring, keep searching the net, keep trying alternatives (beyond ‘reasonable’), it may never stop because…options and alternatives are endless.

Think of
– all the shades, tones, percentage strengths of a paint colour or mix.
– think of all the combinations of notes, harmonies, volume and placement and instrumentation possibilities in a musical piece
– should a chair be here or a lamp there….
Its endless choice!

Is that a bad thing- no of course not………..  IF it is understood and accepted.
And yes, of course one should seek to do the best one can.

However, in some cases, seeking ‘perfection’ can be obsessive to the point of inaction.
In the worse cases people start second guessing themselves, move to a point of not being able to make a decision at all and in fact, become reactive against a finite answer ..because ‘there might be something better tomorrow’…’just in case’ becomes a vortex of inaction.

Like the person looking for a coat, and even though they found a good buy, they keep shopping, waiting, googling specials etc, to get THE best deal.. maybe it is because they bought something once and the next day saw it cheaper & are never going to let that happen again ……. but sometimes this indecision means they never get the coat and stay cold.

Or the music project where we might get questions like ‘what about if we just try Xx instrument’ ‘or i heard about this northen bengaly…whatever’ after 20 combinations have already been tried.or can we keep exploring this area ‘just in case’….and 5 years later the project is still going.

Even when one is happy and signs off a work…often a week or so later doubts start creeping in.
For example I, and other producers will also have seen, artists often be totally satisfied and sign off on a mix, a master, a CD, then a couple of weeks after release the ‘oh, I could have’s’ start creeping in.

So what is the answer….mmmm well to me (and staying in the musical space) it is ………

First, we have to recognise that as creatives, artists, designers, musicians …most of us are our own worse critics!
What we see as that little ‘something’ may not even be noticed by anyone else! The slight ‘moment/thing/placement’ may add flavour to the observer/listener because they didn’t know it was meant to be anything else!

Having said that ….. if one has a clear path and sets project plans out properly – things tend to get done appropriately.

  • Start with taking the time to get a clear view of the goal.. the purpose/intention of the end product, the big picture – so what it is to be and therefore, what it is not.  Which thereby already puts parameters around expectations.
    Eg, if going to produce a low cost demo to pitch your act for gigs, that is not the same as commercial level radio ready production (not the same in cost, time or finish/mastering etc)
  • Then explore options as much as you can within those parameters and within some set limits to the search (whether time, finance or another factor).
    Don’t worry about options or things outside the project boundaries you have set.
  • Most importantly, after that.. be prepared to make decisions and stick with them….
    Sure take a break, check once or twice if need be, but then  be happy with it.
    Could it be improved down the track? Maybe, but at the time you thought it was right so go with it. be confident that you were…..and move forward.
  • And finally…finish it!
    Even if you have to be strict on yourself and set deadlines etc…finish and move on, learn from it and keep improving sure but….. get the thing done or it’s not a thing at all!

Anyway just a thought for the day that I thought might help someone out there.

All the best till next time.

Ian

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