Painting vs. perfection

May 7, 2021 2:19 PM

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A painting of a silhouette of a free with branches, roots, and birds flying near it, against dark green and yellow-green background. Art painted by the author.

A painting of a silhouette of a free with branches, roots, and birds flying near it, against dark green and yellow-green background. Art painted by the author.

I started off having a bad day. I was sitting in my chair, just staring at the picture on my wall. I heard my family talking in the background, and the only thing there was to smell was the lotion I put on my hands because they were dry. I used to stress myself out a lot, and I kind of still do, over “perfection.” I always tried to achieve “perfect.” I felt like everything I did had to be perfect, and that gave me a lot of stress. A moment of change occurred when my mom brought a canvas for me, and it was significant because when I started to fill it with color my stress was relieved. I felt free, being able to express myself, and didn’t feel the need to achieve perfection. I put my brush into the paint and splashed the paint across the canvas to make something. Of course, it wasn’t perfect, but it was something I was proud of, and that was enough for me. 

This happened because my mom heard that art is good for relieving stress and thought it would be helpful for me. She was trying to make me feel better. As I dipped my brush into the yellow paint and blended it with a dark shade of green, I forgot about perfection. I was enjoying the movement of my hand going across the canvas and making an image. I didn’t really care if the lines weren’t straight enough, or the way my shapes turned out. I decided to put on some “lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to,” connected my headphones to my phone, and carried on with the canvas. This relaxed me, and I found really entertaining. 

The lesson I took away from this was that it’s not worth it to drive myself crazy for things that aren’t worth it. I may sometimes require a little time to myself so I can let go of stress. It can be hard for me to not want to perfect things, and whenever I paint or draw I don’t focus on that anymore. I began only with a canvas and some paints, but as I noticed how it helped my mental health, I expanded my hobbies to drawing and painting routinely. I have also started to draw and made lots of pieces. I’ve made little and bigger drawings and they aren’t perfect, but I enjoyed the process of making them and they make me feel happier. 

I still use the method of drawing and painting to help me get away from my stress and what’s bothering me. I have painted a lot ever since I started, especially during the pandemic. It was hard to be calm in quarantine, however by using art I was able to chill. I have also shared my art with my friends and family when we all seem to have a bad day. I love art, and it is very effective in my life because now I use it to let loose from my stress. 

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