All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.
His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: 50 pounds of pots rated an “A”, 40 pounds a “B”, and so on.
Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”.
Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity.
It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work-and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
Art and Fear- David Bayles and Ted Orland (via qweety)
Perfection is intimidating. I think most artists blocks come from the fear of creating something imperfect.
I love this. It’s why I try and write my weekly ficlet, why I try to push myself in different directions, why I try to tell a different perspective, and why I post the works up even when I’m not “happy” with it.
Practice and molding, exploring and taking the wrong path help me as a creator.
This… this is why I write so damned many words, and why I love fanfic. When I write fic, I can just write, without fear of needing to be perfect and needing to be judged by anyone else. When I write original, I freeze, praying for that A and failing because a word never hits paper. But with the weekly wordcount for fic, I learn. I discover what people like, I learn how words fit and how I can play with technique. Even if I never go back and apply it to original work, my craft is growing, and my mind is sated.
I try to brush the hairs flat with my hand and freeze at the sight of my old hand on my old head. I lean close and open my eyes very wide, trying to see beyond the sagging flesh.
It’s no good. Even when I look straight into the milky blue eyes, I can’t find myself anymore. When did I stop being me? p. 111; Water for Elephants