“Starting a New Year is always an invitation to dream.”
— Wayne W Dyer

“Healthy striving is self-focused: ‘How can I improve?’ Perfectionism is other-focused: ‘What will they think?’”
— Brené Brown

Two-faced Janus scans both backward and forward, but, during the month that salutes his mythical duality, there is a third sight that also peers within. I have written about resolutions before. My essential take on the practice has not changed. This year, rather than focus on a checklist of objectives, I take personal aim at a phenomenon that plagues artists all along the spectrum of natural ability — perfectionism — a condition that tends to confound those who observe the creative class, as well as the people who wrestle with the disfunction. One of the most interesting scientists who writes about the subject is Brené Brown, PhD. She provides the clearest and most helpful understanding that I have discovered so far.

As dismissive as it may seem, it has been necessary for me to learn that I cannot care too much about what others think of me or think of what I create. For decades I have worn the hat of the designer or illustrator, which has sharpened my sensitivity to the perceptions and presumptions of others. Collage, for me, is the ideal antidote for perfectionism. For those of us who contend with the idea that something (anything! or everything!) must approach perfection, the notion of a “perfect collage” is absurd enough to defuse the fixation. There is no rule-book. There are no mistakes. There are no towering expectations. There is nothing upon which to heap all one’s perfectionist propensities. There is only the lure of investigation and the pleasure of discovery.


collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.375 x 5.25 inches

•  S O L D

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.