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Watch: Why Truly Creative People Are Never Fully Satisfied With Their Work
By Yoon Sann Wong, 23 May 2017
“No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.” — Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer
It doesn’t matter what artistic craft you specialize in, for there’s a common sentiment that drives myriad creative minds around the world and fuels their desire to produce excellent work—discontentment.
This emotion of uneasiness, when you look at your work and think to yourself, that’s still not good enough, is more widespread than you know. Filmmaker Simon Cade explains ‘Why Artists Are Never Happy’ in the video below from DSLRguide.
“Before and after every great idea, someone’s got to say, ‘That’s still not good enough.’ And maybe I’m a pessimist but I think that that discontentment is what drives creativity, not these magical moments of gleeful inspiration.”
Cade goes on to elaborate on this idea of “modified perfectionism”, that is, the “refusal to accept almost anything short of near perfection.” Understandably, this not only makes it painful for artists to look at their own designs, but can also cause them to get stuck at ideas—aka the ‘creative block’, obsess over minute details instead of focusing on the overall project, experience difficulties maintaining a work-life balance, and tend to agree hastily with their critics.
Even though going in the opposite direction and being satisfied with whatever you do serves as the easier option, Cade clarifies that—based on his personal experience—going down this “smooth and flat” path sans challenges or stimulants will ultimately leave you feeling numb in the long run. He encourages artists to take the risk, pluck up their courage and navigate the road filled with risk, fear, doubt, exhaustion, instability, and stress, because at the end of the day, with the lowest of lows come the highest of highs.
“The people who feel the sting of their own inadequacies, and then keep working at it, they are the ones who eventually find the magic.”
Watch the relatable animated clip below.
[via DSLRguide, images via video screenshot]
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