Perfectionism is a brain eating zombie.

Posted on May 29, 2013

There is an idea eating my brain today. Perfection.


It started this morning. I packed an order and I wasn’t too pleased with myself since it contained a tile that I’d forgotten to send with a previous order. Somewhat embarrassed I wrapped the tile in bubble wrap. It was a small tile so required minimal amount of time and money to ship it. Nothing compared to a memory box. My head latched on to the time and cost spent anyway. When I discovered that I didn’t have the tiles to fill the next order, my head shifted into second gear. We were off.

“Why do I mess things up?” Shifting into third.

“Why don’t I have a better system? Why do I make so many things that are so many different sizes requiring so many different sized shipping boxes?” Fourth gear.

“Stupid. You’ve been at this awhile. You should have figured out a better storage/inventory/web store/restocking/workflow method by now.” Fifth gear.

My internal critic is sailing down the road in a red convertible with the top down, singing her favorite song at the top of her lungs.

Everything she says is correct. She’s right, except for the stupid part since I, too, know I need a better system, that some of my work habits are counterproductive, that there is efficiency to be found. The sketches of storage systems, packing stations, and work-flow options litter my sketchbook. I know that I should hire someone to be my pack and ship person since time is precious and studio time is even more so. I know I need to have some continuity with my glazes and that time has come to retire 95% of the tile designs and come up with new, exciting work. I know I need a big studio clean out that is going to take a tag sale or seconds sale or a visit from Mr. Hammer. I know I need buy that heavyweight shelving for both the studio and the storage room, set up the tables dedicated for packing and shipping, and get that spare computer set up with the scale and printer so I don’t have to handle the packed boxes so many times.

I also know that when my internal critic shows up it is indicative of one thing: I’m getting closer. I am making progress. Can’t let the fear stop me now. Must. Keep. Going.

This will be true too: no system is perfect. I need to learn to let some things go.


  1. Kelly
    May 29, 2013

    Also, there’s the idea that YOU are the only one who has done and is doing EXACTLY what you’re doing, and you’re doing it the best way you know how to do it at any given moment. The way that you’re doing it IS perfect since that’s the only way it’s being done (by you).

    BTW, from what I’m seeing, you’re doing amazing things. Any chance any more of those small greyhound sculptures will be available again? I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

  2. genjiscorner
    May 30, 2013

    A fine balance between the artistic creative side of your brain, and the organized business side

  3. Judith Ward
    April 5, 2014

    Re-assuringly I find myself being described here, it’s such a comfort to know that it’s not only me who trips herself up so often whilst the smart answers are jumping up and down for attention whilst I fail to notice just so absorbed in the present crisis. I’m getting on, I should have learnt by now, but while there’s still growing to do I can’t possibly leave. Here’s to more happy muddling through,x


Leave a Reply