I’ve been struggling for quite a while trying to balance my free time between time spent on dA, time spent on studying art theory/techniques, and time spent actually creating art. `kuschelirmel
’s recent article [link]
really struck a nerve with me. I realized that I had lost sight of why I originally joined deviantART; to improve and grow as an artist and hopefully meet a few like-minded people that would eventually become friends. I’ve met more than a few like-minded people and I’ve made some pretty amazing friends. As for my art, it has shown improvement…but I still have a long way to go. So, after much thought and consideration, I’ve decided it’s time for me to make some changes regarding my activity on dA.
I suffer from a psychological condition called atelophobia [link]
. Basically, I have an extreme (and irrational) fear of failing to achieve perfection in anything I do or say. To be human is to be imperfect - unless you’re me. Think of it as perfectionism on crack. Yeah, it’s that bad. Logically I know that nobody is perfect and that it’s impossible for me to achieve perfection in any one thing, let alone everything, but this condition defies logic. It affects everything I do, including my art and my activity/involvement within dA.
I rarely finish any artwork I start. If there’s a key element in the piece that I can’t get just right, I don’t finish. I overthink everything and micro-manage every detail that goes into each work. Often I’ll work on one aspect of the piece for hours upon hours, eventually saving, closing, and moving it to my overflowing WIP folder because I’m not satisfied with it and I’m sick of looking at it. Once a work makes it to my WIP folder, it rarely sees the light of day again. When I do end up “finishing” something and actually upload it, I’m still not satisfied, I’ve just decided that it’s not complete trash. These “finished” works generally take me roughly 20 - 40 of work, if not more….that’s insane. I don’t even know how many times I’ve come dangerously close to giving up on art all together. I want to improve as an artist and work developing my own style, but I’m always so caught up with making things perfect (or failing to make things perfect) that I don’t leave myself with any time to explore and experiment. Just to give you an idea of the extremity of this issue, I spent 6 hours working on the burning rose petals in the below work and still wasn’t completely satisfied with the result.
On dA, I first became involved with the community because I like helping other artists - whether it be by giving feedback, writing articles, answering questions, or pointing them in the direction of any info they want/need. As a result of being active in the community, I made a lot of friends and aquaintances, most of whom I watched so I could keep up with their art/resources/journals etc. There are currently 489 people on my watchlist, I admin at 4 groups, and I have 121 watchers. I feel like I have to keep up with EVERYTHING…which not only is virtually impossible, but takes up a significant amount of time. I inevitably get overwhelmed by the mountain in my inbox & close the window…the mountain only grows. I want to keep my watchers interested & involved, so I start things - features, articles, interviews - which I intend to post on a regular basis…but I start too many and can’t keep up with them all, then I feel like I’m letting people down. All of these things combined stress me out so badly that I end up avoiding dA entirely - hence my sporadic presence.
I need to
I HAVE to find some way to overcome this overwhelming need to achieve perfection in every aspect of my life. Perfection is unattainable and the pursuit of perfection only causes me unhappiness. It’s not going to be easy & it’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of baby steps…starting with my art. That means I won’t have time to keep up with everything or be very active in the dA community, so I’ll be stepping down as an admin from my groups. I’m sorry if I’m letting anyone down, but I hope my friends, watchers, and fellow group members will understand.
I hope you’ll all wish me luck on my quest for imperfection. I'll be posting another journal soon which will help me stay motivated & help me keep track of the steps I'm taking if you're interested in following along.