The vast majority of us aims to perfection in what they do, right? We maybe wish to be perfect singers, perfect artists or perfect athletes. Sad to know nobody will reach this.

We can become very good at something, but also we must start from somewhere. And here the issue starts.

How can we accept the mediocrity of “phase 1” when we’d love to be perfect as soon as we start? We are afraid our work is not enough, or we feel ashamed to share our baby steps after seeing some incredible work from our favourite illustrators (forgetting they’re doing this everyday for the last years of their lives.)

Unfortunately, there’s no way to skip this, trust me. We better accept this and start enjoying the process from day 0 until we feel our skill is developed.

What if we do not want to accept it and still aim to be perfect from the very beginning? Sometimes aiming to perfectionism can actually work against you:

You never start working on a project if everything isn’t perfect

How many times does it happen to have a great idea you cannot wait to start working on, however you don’t because “you don’t have all the necessary supplies” or “your idea is not 100% clear” and so on? You wish you had more space, more supplies or even more experience.

Who cares! Stop looking for the perfect time to start and just.. start! You’ll see how everything will follow accordingly, including your mind, including ideas.

You’re never satisfied with the outcome

You finally convinced yourself to start, and you’re now done with your work.. but still, it’s not enough. You spend more time thinking what could be different than actually working on the piece.

Personally, I stopped editing my pieces a hundred times after ruining almost all of them due to “adding and changing too much until I don’t like it anymore”.

Trust yourself, and when this feeling is too strong, just take some time away from your art and get back to it after a day or so. You’ll see that, after all, you actually like it and it’s perfect the way it is.

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Creative blocks

If you try really hard to be a perfectionist, you probably tend to put way too much pressure on yourself just to create. The result is often you staring at a blank sheet of paper for hours or even days. No progress, no improvement: you’re just blocked by your own mind.

Sometimes, lowering your expectations of yourself and your work could really be the answer. It is THAT easy.

Try to always keep in mind that you don’t have to create a masterpiece every time you want to draw or paint something!

You compare yourself to others

How could I explain it better than this quote?

“Does it even make sense to compare your Day 1 to someone else’s Year 5?”

Would you, as an adult, judge a 1-year old baby because he cannot speak yet? Or maybe a teenager who hasn’t experienced some situations in their lives?

I don’t think so.

So why in the world are you afraid and always comparing yourself to the biggest in your field? It can always be an amazing source of inspiration, however it is useless to even think “I cannot do things as they do”. Not even THEM were able to draw as they can now when they first started, so…

You lose motivation in pursuing what you love to do

This is the worst thing that can happen to an artist.

So much pressure can overwhelm you to the point that you decide to leave, that it’s not for you, that you had enough. What about avoiding this step and just starting from the beginning creating for the pure joy of learning? What about enjoying every single step until you reach your top?

What helped me a lot is mostly mindfulness meditation and a lot of self acceptance. It is not easy, it takes time and everyone has their own methods.. but everyone can fix their attitude towards themselves and their art. An healthy relationship with our passion is the most important thing!

Now we want to hear from you! How do you manage/did you manage your “Phase 1”? How do you keep yourself from burning out?

Leave a comment dropping your suggestions to inspire and get inspired by each other!

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