• Julian

Wabi - Sabi The beauty of imperfection

The Japanese have a phrase Wabi-Sabi quite literally it translates as


Wabi-Sabi
The beauty and appreciation of things imperfect and impermanent;
accepting the flow of life





I love that as a concept .. we are obsessed with the concept of perfectionism and it's crippling.  As an artist it can prevent work from ever being seen or worse even attempted.


We are so wrapped up in the ideas of having things perfect, smooth, clean, complete that we dare not release anything to the outside world for fear of criticism ... as an artist it can take many different attempts to create the vision you have in your head.


After all when you first learnt something new it was clunky, graceless, imperfect ... we can all type, most of us with many of the fingers of both hands, when we started we made many many errors whilst pecking away at the keyboard with two extended pointy fingers.





How about learning an instrument, the co-ordination of separate hands to do something different.  With a guitar one hand strumming or picking the other finding the notes.  All of that before even trying to move on to create our own tunes.


This is not by the way an excuse for sloppy, lazy work.  The rejection of the excellence of a master in their craft.  Far from it, it's the recognition that as we start something new to us it takes time to get right but as we improve we get better and better.  We are told so many times that unless we can create the perfect thing then don't bother .. we are taught in school that we must strive for perfection. 


We forget that almost everything we do for the first time us ugly, imagine babies walking, children riding bikes, the first time you tried to use a kitchen to cook and so it goes on.  We may have some scars to show but we can all walk and ride a bike.


An so as an artist I must accept that I must make bad art, and lots of it before I can make good art .. refine the process.  Specifically to photography of posing, lighting, composition, technical settings, image selection and editing.





I must be aware of the fact that when I try something new, push through the barriers and develop new ideas that by and large the first times that I do this .. they may not be rewarding but as long as their is a faint glimmer of hope, something to be seen and and an understanding of how to improve for the next time I can, I will and I must try again.


Why .. Wabi-Sabi appreciate the imperfect, learn from it, accept it and try again .. the next time still won't be perfect lets face it we are too critical to believe that perfect can be achieved but close is good.


Remember Progress not Perfection ..

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