I've been noticing the concept of Wabi-sabi floating around recently, probably due to my challenge to begin and finish work. By challenge I mean, learning to fight ignore my inner critic and tendency to chase perfection. So this struggle has had me thinking about my creative work and pursuing the creative life; in return life re-introduced me to the idea of wabi-sabi. (plus Dr Brene' Brown's Perfect Protest) Wabi-sabi is a Japanese view, or aesthetic based around the acceptance of transience. The idea is seeing beauty in the incomplete, impermanent or imperfect, because nothing is ever complete, permanent or perfect. I love this idea. Some things never really reach that perfect point. Especially when creating art, there is always room for improvement, tweaks and adjustments. I don't think there is anything wrong with striving for your best, I deeply believe we should grow and reach our highest potential.  Perfection on the other hand can be extremely oppressive. It hinders the ability to stop planning and tweaking and just live that dream life of yours already. Maybe what you're working on is just fine as it is, no it's not perfect, but it'll do. Put that creative work out into the world; infuse your life with that creative thing already.

The image above is a painting in progress. The arrows came out when I was trying to find that perfection spot and realized I was paralyzed with the pressure. I find that the pursuit of the creative life has so many possibilities and directions. So does the pursuit of perfection, which can be overwhelming. So when I did let it go, these arrows appeared to remind me of all the different directions that life pulls me but I should let go, step back, and see the whole picture.

Philosophy aside, I also really relate to the aesthetic. There is a certain beauty in the little bumps and cracks that is around us. It seems to be seeped in time, and age adds its own beauty to life. This, I think is why I love polaroids. I love them for their random-ness, I can't control much and there is a little thrill in letting go. One click and the photo spits out whether you're ready or not. The little imperfections ARE their perfection. I've heard about Hipstamatic for iPhone, and couldn't resist it's old school charm. It's based on the effects of an old plastic camera. With different 'lenses' and 'flashes' that create beautiful, dreamy, scratchy effects. (they are responsible for some of the scratchy-ness of the image above and in my birthday post) I look at this aesthetic philosophy as looking at the 'not so perfect' parts of life to find something beautiful about it. It's more than just seeing the silver lining in a situation or "finding the lesson" and all that fluffy feel good stuff. Sometimes life isn't quite what you thought it should be, especially when you're trying to infuse more creativity into it. We can get hung up on what the proper or best looks like, but I find looking for the beauty in the 'imperfect' can help you let go and enjoy. That's also usually when creativity flows more naturally anyway. Are there anything in your life you can look at with fresh eyes and see the beauty? {image by Sashe Studio -- painting in progress. }

Madison Whiteneck