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Is Done Better Than Perfect?

A common saying in the creative world is "done is better than perfect." This technique is widely used for a lot of creatives to get outside of their own heads. Why take an extra hour on something when it is good enough? Why not call it a day and move on to something else? I personally believe this is one of the best mantras a new creative can adapt.


The application of this process is to focus on reps, not perfection. It is a learning application, and you should learn the basics fast. The best way to get better is to do something over, and over, and over, and over...But does this ever become a problem? Is adopting and religiously following quantity over quality going to be a detriment to your progression? For the most part, no I don't think it will be a detriment. I speak for myself, and the vast majority of artists, that I am a perfectionist. For me, if it is not perfect, then why would I ever display it? Everyone is going to see the obvious mistake of my mask in photoshop. They are clearly going to see my unfeathered edges on a brush stroke while retouching someone's face in LightRoom. And I have learned I am the only who is going to notice such minute details. I mean, I am the one who has been staring at this image for hours, so it is obvious.


But we cannot allow ourselves to not ascend to a higher echelon. We must quickly learn conventional rules and techniques, and then we must be able to continuously refine our skills. Diversely, some would say perfect is perfect. And in that case, yes it is. But I believe your done is better than perfect will ultimately raise your standard of done. Your reps at "done" will significantly increase your quality. But we shouldn't stop there. We should also utilize imperfection to transcend our work.


A lot of photographers develop a style of imperfection. Their photos turn into what they can make you feel versus what is defined as a "good" photo. One photographer in particular who does this exceptionally well is Nan Goldin. Her series "The Ballad of Sexual Dependency" evokes emotion with each shot in her exhibition that last 43 minutes. Some shots are out of focus, one or two people are blurry, but these images work. They work because at the end of the day it isn't about what a photograph can look like, it matters how it makes you feel.



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