Should We Redo Our Work Or Leave It As It Is? How Much Editing Is Too Much Editing?
This is the dilemma I've been facing lately. One of my art teachers told me that the hardest thing to learn when it comes to painting is knowing when to stop. I suppose that can be applied to life and blogging as well. Knowing when to let go, when to pause, when to stop (and in case of blogging when to click the publish button) is an art in itself. Recently I've read one article that described our generation as generation of perfectionists. That particular article seemed to warn about perils of perfectionism. Some of us may wonder: 'Wait, how can perfectionism be bad?' Shouldn't we always strive to be better? Still, one has to wonder how can we strive for the better if we are not sure what the better is. Sometimes we're clueless about what perfection should be, just because we're too busy chasing it. Chasing that elusive perfection, can make us forget that the definition of 'perfection' ultimately depends on our selves. We are the ones responsible for creation our own definition of perfection and this definition can be something always evolving, it doesn't have to be a rigid.
I've been revisiting and examining some of my old sketches, paintings and illustration lately. In some cases, I've been making some small corrections, like adding some finishing touches or making small changes. When you learn and master some new drawing or painting technique, you're always tempted to use it all the time, perhaps even revisit old works and 'correct them'. This is not always the best idea. By 'correcting' our old works, we can end up ruining them. We can forget the moment that inspired them. Perhaps it could be argued that inspiration and originality should, at least sometimes, come before the technique? Once you repaint or redraw an illustration, there is no going back. However, that fragility can also be a source of admiration. It may be what draws me to paper art. Perhaps this fragility is precisely the beauty of art on paper for me (as opposed to digital art). You can always save a digital painting and if you don't like the changes, it's no problem.
Should we redo our work or leave it as it is? I suppose this is a very common dilemma, both with professional and amateur artists. The same dilemma can be applied to blogging. We all know we should edit our texts, but how much editing is too much editing? We have all probably read at least one 'How To Blog' article, but do we really need to follow all the rules? Naturally, a well and organized written post is preferable to one that is all over the place, but where should writing tips end and our style begin? Sometimes 'stream of consciousness' can be the perfect writing technique. Finding balance can be tricky. We're constantly bombard with what 'perfect' blog should look like. While there is nothing wrong with making our blogs more 'reader/user friendly', if all ones does is follow the rules for 'perfect blogging' one can forget the spark that made him/her want to blog in the first place.
So, what do you think? How much editing is too much editing? How to keep that spark that made us want to create things in the first place? Both when it comes to blogging and art, the magical spark ,that perhaps can be translated as the motivation to create, seems to be immensely important. Sometimes motivation is everything. It is worth remembering that motivation can only come from us. Perfectionism can be our worst enemy. When you're not happy with something, take a breath, leave it be. You don't always have to redo everything. Sometimes it is best to start anew. It all depends on the situation.
*All watercolour art and drawings shared are my own (most of it, if not all, I had shared before but this is the first time I'm sharing a 'redo' version that includes small interventions with the markers). The red brooch is also my creation.