We all should be proud of what we do.
At work, at home, with our kids, with our health regimes and our multi-tasking.
In these lofty aspirations there always hides a corner of doubt. Of shame. Of embarrassment. Like we are proud of what we did — at the time — yet now have readdressed the moment of pride and find ourselves wanting.
I am proud of my Angel Tears.
I think they’re pretty, dazzling, delicate, and unique.
But now that I’ve had my first sales round and am working on updating my product and my presentation, I have found that I packed up some that were, shall we say, less than perfect.
No big deal. People would have bought them and thought them pretty, dazzling, delicate, and unique. But what I saw was sloppy work.
Glue drips. Crooked matchups. Too long a string on this one, unclipped string on this other one. By themselves, none of them will cause bridges to collapse or tornadoes to form.
But I’m disappointed in myself. In my sloppiness. In the carefree and sometimes careless way I packaged some of my Tears to go.
I’d like to think I picked the best ones for display and sale my last art fair. I know I did look closely at every one I hung, every one I sold.
But those others —
I am on a campaign to inspect everything that’s left over. Every Tear that was wrapped. Every color that was chosen.
And I’m going to pull out every one that is sub par. Every one.
Do we really give our best, our all, when we say we do? Can we honestly say we haven’t rushed through something just to get to the end and get it over with?
Does giving our best take too much time and effort?
I suppose if this is the worst thing I’ve done in my life I can go to the pearly gates fairly guilt free.
But my sloppiness has taken its toll. In a good way.
From now on I am going to take my time — I mean really take my time — to make sure every Angel Tear looks like it came from an angel.
I know my customers will feel better — and so will I.
10 thoughts on “When Is Your Best Not Your Best?”
Oh yes, the faeries are # 1 for me too. Use to make faerie houses from all wild and recycled materials and did well til I burned out. When an art starts to feel like you’re on an assembly line it takes all the fun out of it. As I’ve been reading and commenting on your blog I have noticed our similarities. Great minds, eh!
I cant tell you how much you sound and feel like me! I know Angel Tears are just a passing craft too .. writing is my first passion. And anyway .. the faeries are my first passion too, and they weren’t too happy that I choose their cousins’ personifications as Angel Tears. Can’t please everyone I guess …
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I do but not to sell any more. Just for gifts to friends and family. My writing is taking up most of my crafty time these days. For years I juggled my visual arts – painting, sculpting, making faerie houses, etc. – with writing. Now I seem to be way more inspired to write than most of the other things. I do find that when I’m stuck, have writer’s block, if I switch over to a visual art it crashes the block to pieces. It’s all art. Keep making those sparkly things. You’re keeping the faeries happy! Oh… and the angels too.
I personally think most crafts ARE harder than mine — really. But even with something simple like my craft, it still takes time, patience, an eye for spacing, double checking and gluing knots — all kinds of little steps that help insure they will sparkle in somebody’s window for years to come. I know what you mean about people saying “I can do that!” I used to say that — for wreaths, throws, jewelry — until I thought about the time and effort and materials it would take. Ceramics and painting and sculptures are ten times harder to do. Do you still make sculptures?
I totally agree especially about the writing. Even though I am a believer in the addage that there really is no such thing as perfection I also believe we should always do our personal best at all times because some people out there believe there IS such a thing as perfection and will be judging us accordingly. But then it’s also important to remember another old addage; you can’t please all of the people all of the time. So all that is left is to be sure we are pleasing ourselves and feel good about our finished product.
Back when I was doing arts and craft shows there were always those folks that would look at the things I’d spent painstaking hours to make and say to the person next to them that they could do that. And the things I was making were not your everyday craft stuff, they were sculptures and other intricate works of art! That’s when I desided that it didn’t matter so much what others thought of my work as long as I was pleased with it and knew it was my best.
Thank you! I had the idea for like ever .. just started making them in earnest. They’re 1 ft/5 stones or 3 ft/7 stones and they are really pretty in the sunlight. It’s something you could do yourself if you really wanted to!
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I didn’t know you sold angel tears. I have a few of those at home but I only use them in my christmastree, but now that I see yours hanging in front of a window, I might try that, the sun shining on them will look pretty !.
Perhaps its human nature to want to tinker with what we’ve done in order to achieve perfection. Although, that old addage, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. We are in two different states of mind and emotion all the time, always changing. So how we felt at the beginning is not always how we feel at the end. And I think it effects our work. I know I was in a rush there at the end, pressured to get pieces done for 2 art shows. Turns out I only did one, and there was no need to hurry up and be sloppy at the end. I think it’s important in writing to get it all out and done first, then come back and fix.
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I know what you mean, I really check everything now 😊
This reminds me of the saying ‘there are no mistakes only lessons’. It’s very human to fall down now and then but the trick is to pick ourselves back up and vow to be more careful about where we place our feet.
I’m currently pulling together all of my poems to get them into a coherent book and have to type each one and there are 200 plus of them. I keep finding myself rushing through this process and paying the price with mispellings, missed words and sometimes misplaced pages. It is definately a reminder to slow down and get it right. It also posses the question; does it take more time to get it right the first time or to have to go back and fix all the mistakes?