I’ve always struggled with this. Those who know me, know how much I fuss and whinge over every detail of every cartoon and refuse to publish things I’m not 100% happy with. It’s a flaw. I’m working on it
It’s also something of a challenge when I look at the cartoon archive.. and consider what to do with it.. the earlier ones look horrifying to my two-years-later brain!
But if we insisted on perfection at all times we’d never get anything done; the fear of failure.. of not getting everything right first time can leave us paralysed. It’s important to remember that people are not born perfectionists; there was probably someone early on who demanded unreasonable levels of achievement from you. Someone who needed to be pleased and proud in order to deliver the “love” that all children crave and that should be unconditional whether you get it right first time or fail miserably.
Are you afraid to fail? Are you unable to try new things or make changes in your life or behaviours in case things go horribly wrong? What would happen if they did? Would the world end? Really?
This paralysis can be the thing that brings people to therapy. And then you have another conundrum.. what if the therapist is a perfectionist? Well, hopefully they’ve had enough of their own therapy to be able to take appropriate risks and keep the therapy moving forward. Or have that marvel of quality control.. a Supervisor.. to point out when they are stagnating.
The photos I post online of my workspace often show hints of buckets of screwed up paper (and empty Cherry Coke cans = cartoon fuel) as I discard ideas and sketches across all my projects that just don’t come up to scratch. Possibly I make it harder for myself by not sketching TT cartoons out first (as shown above) but by just drawing things straight out in ink. (videos of various processes are on YouTube.. if you’re lucky I’ll do some more this weekend..)
The most important thing… as I keep telling myself.. is to keep going, keep trying and not let the voices of doom (instilled long before I took up pen) to take over and ruin a good thing. If I listened to either the internal or external critics I’d never do anything.
But the world is too interesting a place to stop now. And it’s full of people doing the weirdest things and thinking that they are perfectly “normal”. And all of it must be captured and examined and reinterpreted with pen and paper.
In the words of Frank Spencer (or rather his mother).. “Every day, in Every way I will get better and better”.