Perfection is the Destroyer of Creativity

Perfection is the anti-creative

Vincent Vicari


Macro Daisy in Black and White

Creativity is a natural drug. A stimulant for our minds, and our passions, and when something goes right, a feeling we get in our bones.

When it goes wrong, which is quite often, we get a feeling too. Several feelings. Failure, depression, we question our purpose. We question what’s the point.

When it doesn’t work out the way we want, we think of our creativity more as an obstacle. But the creativity isn’t the problem. The problem is the idea we must be perfect with our creations.

Every drawing has to look exactly as we envision it. Each photograph must have perfect lighting. Each note has the perfect pitch. If only creativity worked like that.

That concept of perfection, that’s the obstacle. Nothing is perfect I would argue in creating something artistic, perfection should never be the goal.

Not to mention, your idea of perfection is probably very different than mine.

I’ll digress for a moment in that some works we all consider to be masterpieces, but we would be hard-pressed to consider them perfect.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”

-Vince Lombardi

Chasing perfection may work for the Green Bay Packers, but creativity is a different beast.

The pursuit of perfection will drive us creatives mad. It’s that simple. We can’t be perfect in our creative pursuits.

Why not you ask? The obvious answer is if we attained perfection, there would be nothing more to pursue. Now where is the fun in that?

Many creatives talk of the process and the journey taken to create a piece. The photographer with thousands of images on their hard drives. The illustrator with countless sketchbooks filled and stacked in the corner.

I’ve made hundreds of drawings. I’ve shared so few. Most are ones I don’t care to look at myself. They are not “perfect.” But they’re part of the process. I’ll occasionally look at a few to remind myself of where I was and where I want to go.



Vincent Vicari

Writings on Personal Development, Leadership, and Creativity.