I was lucky recently, to take part in an art class activity with a group of nine year old students. The activity, to trace around their hand on a piece of fabric, then fill the outline of their hand, with images and symbols they felt represented empowerment. The fabric pieces were to be sewn together to create a pillow.
Without hesitation, the students set to work. Each student confidently traced around the outline of their hand with marker and began filling the spaces within. The art created, was done so without thought of how the final product should or would look. The pieces came from their hearts and their heads, each step made, directing the steps that would follow. They worked with what they had, rather than what they thought they should have. The results were strong, and together, visually stunning.
As an adult, I wondered if I would have tackled this project with equal confidence. My guess; I would not have done. I would have made a preliminary outline in pencil before committing to marker, taking substantial time to think and map out what I should place in the interior. I would have wanted to make it visually perfect.
“Perfection is in the imperfection”. I saw this quote written on a website recently. When I tried tracking down its origin, I found, not an exact match, but many variations of:
“ The perfection of imperfection”
“ Imperfection is perfection”
“ The perfectly imperfect”
Perfection implies something that adheres to recognized set of rules; that looks, sounds, and appears as a shining example of what society reveres, and or, is striving to achieve. Imperfection on the other hand, intimates something that is flawed. Interestingly, when the two are combined within a singular phrase, their emphasis changes significantly.
That we all should be able to tackle tasks as children do, to work with what we have, and to accept things as they are, confidently and creatively; without question, without hesitation. That we should be able to intuitively accept, as children have a tendency to do, that rather than perfection being a desired state, perfection is in the imperfection.