Friday, May 7, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about this lately, it seems to be jumping up and hitting me in the face so I figured I'd "talk" it out.

My name is Mikki and I'm a perfectionist...there, I said it.  Is it a good thing?  Well, I think for the most part it is but there is a point where it becomes overpowering and can be a drawback.  Perfectionists see imperfections in their work that no one else would notice with a microscope and by seeing those imperfections as bad they devalue their work and have a hard time sending it out into the world. 
I sometimes wonder if it's a control issue....other things in my life are out of control so I'll be super tight on quality control.  Or a fear issue....what if the imperfections in my work are a glaring window into my personal imperfections? I'm sure both those things are in the mix.
As I sit here I have one of Donna Kato's books in front of me and the super large photos of her polymer beads do show the imperfections on those beads.  The lines aren't quite straight, joinings show, symmetrical beads aren't quite symmetrical....  Does it diminish the beauty of her beads? Hell no! What it does do is tell me I'm being way too critical of those same issues on my own beads.
I think a certain amount of imperfection needs to be embraced, accepted and even glorified.'s a very little amount....I am a perfectionist after all. But I think we need to realise there will always be chinks in the armor because we're human and it's those chinks that give us, and our work, character and make it our own.
Striving for perfection is a good thing because it's better to fall shy of perfection than to fall shy of mediocrity but insistence on absolute perfection isn't healthy.


  1. Oh Mikki...I soooo feel your pain! I too, am a perfectionist. It can be almost crippling at times. I see every flaw, every distortion, every little thing in my beads...which really does make it difficult to send them out to the world. I am hording my imperfections! Even though I get lots of good feedback from people, I always feel that they are "NOT QUITE GOOD ENOUGH". Is there an answer? I don't know. I haven't found it yet.

  2. Doreen....we just have to get over it. Believe in ourselves and what we can do and realise that we are good enough, believe it when other people tell us. We just can't let perfectionism cripple us.

  3. We have a saying at our house whenever perfectionism rears its head:

    "Perfection is the enemy of the good."

    Strive for the best, but accept what is good with a happy heart!

  4. My name is Karyn and I too and a perfectionist...when it comes to my beading!!

    I am always finding things wrong with my work and have to admit that if I do find a mistake or something wrong with a piece I just can't leave it... "I know" it is there so I have to fix it.

    I can proudly say though I am getting better and recently have left mistakes - but only if it is a piece that I will be keeping for myself... so that is getting better isn't it?


  5. Karyn, yes, that is getting steps :) that saying.
    I do see work out there that would have been destined for my trash bin and at those times I touch the piece in the hopes that the creator's moxy rubs off on me.

  6. You stole one of my next "sins!! Also...revisit the Cohen quote on facebook, under my picture.

  7. I've been reading a book on perfectionism lately, and one of the sentences that has really stuck with me is: "The DESIRE to be perfect is normal; the EXPECTATION to be perfect in every aspect of your life is extreme." Neurotic perfectionism, they called it. heheh.

    This is definitely something I struggle with, especially with my jewelry. When I make a mistake, I can't decide if I should just move on and see how it turns out, or take it apart before I waste more time on it. Some people tell me "the only one who will notice the mistake is you," to which I think "yes, and that's the problem!" When you're selling or giving away your work, it doesn't feel right to offer something 'flawed,' does it?

    Here's to a healthy level of 'attention to detail!' ;D


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