Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Perfection Predicament

Okay I admit that I'm more then a bit of a perfectionist..I don't just like a clean house, on some level I need it to be clean in order to function. I so envy people who can just let things go and concentrate on their art. I believe that on some level my perfectionism is due to growing up in a house that was always in a constant state of disorder...and not just the physical mess, though that was pretty awful...but there was always some sort of psychological upheaval going on as well. Maybe that's why I feel the need to have as much calm and order as I can achieve around me now. I think I'm getting a little better about choosing to let some things go ...gosh I hope so...the older I get, but there's always an internal dialog. "That bathroom is getting really disgusting." "OK, not really...I can work on that tomorrow, finish those dolls today." And for me perfectionism can be a form of procrastination as well...I can't start that because it won't be exactly right....I just have to keep telling myself that the process of discovery is the fun part and messing up can lead to a wonderful finished product....repeat as needed!

Ah and then there's the perfectionism in my work. Yesterday I decided that a doll that I had already finished and listed in my shop, just didn't look right...the mouth was too big, the arms too long...yuck. so I took the entire thing apart and redid it. Well you be the judge...was I right?
Here's the original...


and here's the redo...

Strawberry Gnomeling

Much better? Or was it all in my head?
I finished another one as well and I think she's just fine the way she is...Thank goodness!

A Pair of Gnomelings


  1. I think the first one was fine, but the redo is way more in line with what I associate as your "style".

    Beautiful work, either way.

  2. I, as always, love them all. Such joyful faces.

  3. I think both versions were fine, the first and the second. I think your craftsmanship was perfect on both. An imperfect, quirky face, to me is sometimes more satisfying than the more perfect face. It hints at a depth of character that I might miss in a more perfect face.

  4. Completely subjective, the first one makes me think of my Granny and a mischievious quirky expression she used to get. I can see how you'd perhaps not want to evoke a granny with those dolls, but as the viewer, I like it.

  5. I agree that quirky is fun and that sometimes the less perfect face can seem more "real"...I have a tendency to except these imperfect (?) expressions in my art dolls more then in toys. I wonder why?

  6. To be a perfectionist can be good and bad. I think your dolls are very sweet and when you feel happy in your house that's the most important, wright???
    I have someone who cleans my house for me (not that I don't like cleaning, but compared to crafting... hihihi)
    This makes it easier for me to focus on my kids and felting.

  7. No you did the right thing she looks much better. Such a sweet mouth. Your little dolls are beautiful, my Christmas fairy hangs from the desk lamp on my dollmaking table. I just love her.

  8. I understand what you mean about clean - I love people who are from the extreme of both perspectives on that point. In the end, you have to be who you are, as long as it doesn't interfere with your day to day life, and that goes for both the tidy & untidy I think.:)

    As for the dolls, they are both adorable. I think there's another factor to consider too. When it comes to your art, your creation, sometimes your gut tells you to re-work a piece. When you sit with it, look at it and time passes, you gain new perspective and you just "know" it's not right - so I say it's okay to re-work it. I don't see it as perfectionism in a negative sense, it's more about craftsmanship and "getting it right" artistically & creatively - and I think it happens to all creative people.
    And seriously, those two dolls are completely delightful.

  9. Perfection! :<)

    Your little ones are always wonderful!

    Wishing you a good day today!

    Barbara Diane

  10. Honestly, I don't think I would have noticed the "imperfections" of the first doll. Sometimes we are our harshest critic. (the second attempt looks good too.)

  11. Everything you do is so beautiful but I totally get it! I spend hours and hours on every single painting for the most minute things that I think, maybe, no one will ever really notice anyways! I repainted an entire face (for the third time!) yesterday just to move the nose up less than a quarter of an inch! Ugh!!! But, that's all to say....I truly believe, in the long run, when someone holds one of your dolls....they will see the extra time and energy you put into each one. It makes a difference. : ) Plus, we know we wouldn't be able to stand it if we didn't perfect everything anyways!! : )

  12. I totally relate to what you said about the cleanliness thing. I grew up in an equally chaotic household with 4 sisters. I had to share a room with my next older sister who was always leaving a trail of clothes and make-up products on the desk we shared. It drove me nuts!
    Instead of after my sister - I feel like I am always picking up after the children and my husband...I wish I had a thicker skin and could just be accepting of the mess.

    about the dolls. I think you were absolutely right! The new improved version is much sweeter and better! Sometimes we have to go back and make things right. I often find that my pictures lack in quality. You can make the sweetest doll but if you cannot capture it in a foto it will not sell.

    I really wish we could hang out together some time. Seems we have a lot in common.

  13. All of your work is wonderful! My room has a large floor to ceiling bookcase in it filled with your magical little dolls. You are so talented.

    I know what you mean re: the clean house. I have 5 little kids and it seems it is always chaos. I have to admit though that I do sometimes neglect the cleaning up at night in favour of my quilting and doll making!