How to Improve as an Artist: Finished, Not Perfect.

January 11, 2018 by in category Productivity, Stress tagged as , , , , , , with 0 and 0
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How to improve as an artist. Finished, not perfect.

Finished, not perfect.

“Finished, not perfect.”


Seems like I am being lazy by just finishing something even if it’s not perfect, right?


Let me explain. 2017 was my year of embracing Shai LaBouf. No, not free style rapping with no shirt on or protesting in the streets of New York. Remember his infamous green screen wig out? Screaming “Just! Do it!” Or that whole Nike slogan, what ever. Artists and creatives suffer from crippling self doubt, habitually beating themselves up for never being good enough. This sometimes leads to an endless supply of projects that are never completed because they aren’t “perfect”. Imposter syndrome was keeping me from moving forward. 2017 was the year of moving out of my comfort zone and just finishing things, anything, everything…even if they weren’t perfect.

I gave myself 6 months.

January rolled around and I was reaching my limit of how much more I could withstand in the little puddle of my slowly wasting away life I was wallowing in. Utterly depressed, I was becoming physically ill from my office job. More and more frustrated at how I felt every day, I knew I had to make a change. I was going to quit my job. That was it. It couldn’t be any worse than wanting to down a bottle of vodka at lunch every day just to make it through another ice breaker or story about my co-workers childbirth. I hate babies and kids FYI. My plan was vague but it was a plan and I wasn’t going to back out. I couldn’t. I saved my money, updated my resume, put in countless hours hustling for a better opportunity and just hunkered down until the time was right. I could conjure up whole book series about how bad my last job was. It did, however, afford me a lot of opportunities to advance my skills and learn what I hated. I owed them nothing but I understand what respect is. I gave myself 6 months to get my shit together.

May was here and I was about to lay waste to everyone in my way. Every day the anxiety and sheer chaos from my office job was making my body hate me. Job outlooks were so depressing I felt I was doomed. I made a phone call to one of the most epic people I know, Frank over at Thingergy Inc, who I had been doing work for on and off for a little while. Everything changed in that one simple phone call. I put my notice in at the soul sucking office job shortly after. That phone call…changed my life. It changed everything.

July 14th was the last day of my office job.
July 17 I had a business license in my hands.
July 18th I was on a plane headed to LA.

There was no turning back now.

I have no idea what I am doing but I did it.

What’s up August. Here was the biggest job I have ever, literally and figuratively. This was my first gig with Thingergy and I was not going to ruin it even though in my head I was wallowing in self doubt. The project almost broke me but it was finished and the satisfaction I felt when I completed that project was beyond words. I learned so much and when I saw it in person, I almost cried. What is this fancy giant huge project I speak of? I’ll never be able to share it with you so just image it in your lovely little creative brains.

November hit hard. I had been traveling or elbow deep in work or personal issues since July when I quit the office job. I had officially formed my business into Wartooth Designs LLC. That fancy bit on the end makes me legit. I don’t know anything about running a business. I had no idea how to form an LLC, or even a business. I was DOING it though and learning from my mistakes. There was REALLY no turning back now.

I finished what I set out to do. I continue to do that in everything I have done this year. I stopped hesitating. Hesitation is an opportunity lost. I went for it. I started making decisions and following through with them not thinking about what others might think or how they would react. I was owning my actions. I created with out fear. With out anything standing in my way.

Then everything changed.

2017 was the year things happen. All that work, all that trust I had in people and in myself paid off.  It wasn’t always pretty and I failed more than I ever want to think about. I learned every time I screwed something up. I learned every time I finished something and it wasn’t perfect. I learned how to fix it for the better next time. I was never going to improve if I never actually did anything. I made coloring books, I created sculptures, I wrote blogs, I streamed live on Twitch. I did it. These projects will continue to evolve. They are starting points. Everything that you do is a starting point even if its a “finished piece”. The next one will be better…and the next one after that…and after that.

I am late posting this. Again, it’s finished. Not perfect.

Sara | Wartooth Designs

Below is a really great video you should watch before you go.

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