I learnt a valuable lesson yesterday at the Matisse Cut Outs exhibition at Tate Modern. To view such iconic works is an absolute privilege & inspiring beyond words but, more than that, I realised:
“Creative freedom is found by letting go of the notion of finding perfection.”
Like many creatives, I critique my own work under the harshest of terms. Striving for perfection in my work all too often takes over the initial joy of the creative process. Viewing Matisse’s works at such close proximity I was struck by how “imperfect” they were: the gouache was often not one solid, flat block of colour, the cuts were sometimes quite rough and almost torn. And yet here they were – some of the most stunning examples of 20th Century art: imperfect perfection.
So the next time I’m annoyed that the finish of the gouache isn’t quite at “photoshopped” levels of solidity, or the embroidery stitches on a dress are not a uniform size, I will take a deep breath, remind myself I am not a machine and take pride in my imperfect perfection.