It’s Not Perfect

It’s not perfect, it never will be, so just get it done!

As a former art student at Syracuse University, I learned not only how to paint, but when to stop painting and call it finished. I was not alone in this “I’ll-just-paint-a-antonia_9985-fb-coverfew-more-brush-strokes” mentality. The feeling ran rampant throughout the class. Each of us felt that our work was never done. Each of us could have gone back and made a few more changes on our canvases.

*George Vander Sluis to the rescue! As he made the rounds of each of us in his classroom, he would make suggestions as to what we might do to improve on the project at hand. He also suggested that we can get to the point of over painting or belaboring our artwork. He reminded us that even the most accomplished of artists felt that they could return to their finished works and paint just a little more.

This same malady can inflict itself on your photography. It will just creep in, sneak up on you and hit your blind side like a football official that runs into a photographer on the sidelines. Next thing you know, you’re picking yourself up from the ground just happy that your camera wasn’t broken. (Yes, this actually happened to me!)

If you wait for perfection, you’ll never get your photography in front of anyone to decide on the quality of it, but you have to start somewhere. That somewhere is exactly where you are right now. But is your work good enough? Have you done your best to produce the prime product that you’re capable of at this stage in your career? Good! Get it out to the public!

Every musician, painter, sculptor, writer and photographer can look back on his or her career and recognize the stages of learning that they encountered on their way to perfection. Realize that perfection is the carrot on the end of the stick that you’re chasing, and chasing is the never-ending education to which you are committed.

As a budding photographer, I am reminded of a member of our local camera club in Auburn, New York. One of our elders professed to be a continual student of his craft of photography and although roughly 40 years spanned between our ages, we connected on a higher level that transcended that chronological difference.   

As a budding writer, I look back at my first articles published in our high school newspaper, the East Wind, and I recognize how primitive they were, but I started right where I was at the time. Subsequently, I had articles accepted in several publications including Reader’s Digest; had a cover story with photos in a major Syracuse, NY Sunday newspaper supplement, and penned a weekly column in the Seneca Falls, NY Reveille that employed both my photography and writing skills.  

As per my opening statement, “It’s not perfect, it never will be, so just get it done!”…and keep chasing that carrot of education.