Imperfect picks for picky humans

 Those of us who are picky tend to also want things in our lives to be perfect. Perfection is an awfully high standard to try to achieve, and for us to expect perfection out of ourselves every time we try something is unfair. There is no way that we can live up to our unrealistic standards.

So the thing to do is something that seems easy but is, in actuality, hard. That thing is to embrace imperfection. When you embrace imperfection, you are giving yourself permission to be a work in progress. 

It might be easier to choose to embrace imperfection in one specific area, such as organizing a room or menu planning. If the room isn’t totally organized, it’s all right. My room will never be totally organized. My goal is not perfection. If I can find stuff without panic and if the floor is clear, I am happy. As for the menu planning? I’m not there yet. That can be a future goal. And that’s okay. Small changes are always easier than big ones.

One area in which I chose to embrace imperfection is in making self portraits. I’ve always had difficulty in making pictures of me look like me. It is, I think, a fairly common problem. Until just a few weeks ago, this was not a problem at all. Probably because I hardly ever paint portraits of myself. But a few weeks ago, I joined a facebook group that is dedicated to self portraits. One of the interesting rules of this group is that we can only post our drawings or paintings once a week, on Sunday. The portrait has to be drawn from life. That is to say, by looking in a mirror. No self-portraits drawn from a photograph. So I started doing weekly self-portraits. Unfortunately, because of my imperfections, I managed to break my hand mirror and am now sadly looking forward to seven years of bad luck. ????

I have found the group to be very friendly, very supportive, and made up of incredible artists. I am motivated to continue drawing and painting self-portraits because I know that it is okay for me to choose to be imperfect. And, not only that, it is a way for me to display my imperfections. Human faces aren’t “perfect.” In fact, it’s the imperfections in our faces that give them their character. 

I am currently working on my third self portrait. For this one, I have chosen to only use two colors: purple and pink. It is the most limited palette that I’ve tried yet. It’s a fun experiment so I am sharing the work in progress.

How have you embraced your imperfections lately?

4 thoughts on “Imperfect picks for picky humans”


    Self-portrait…that one's tough. I feel like so many people, myself included criticize self many times over.

    i like to have things in place even though many times, things are out of sorts. For instance, when my youngest grandson has visited…when he arrives, the toys are put away and in their places. When they leave, they are all over the place. I have stressed many times to his parents, please leave the room the way you found it upon your arrival. I shouldn't have to go behind picking up after they are gone…too much to ask? sometimes yes, sometimes no. Guess it depends on their mood.

    I am always critical of myself when I look in the mirror. Too fat, too big, my hair is going gray, my eyes are puffy….I know my heart doesn't see me in this manner, but my eyes do.

    Don't beat yourself up. You are a beautiful person. The drawings are awesome…keep it up!

  2. These are beautiful, Alice! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and many of us see loveliness in your portraits. Consistent effort will yield improvement. We are our worst critics, but be encouraged and keep up the good work!

  3. Where do you want to go today?

    Hi Alice,
    What an interesting challenge. I can see characteristics of you in the portraits that resemble the pictures I have seen of you here.
    Each portrait is different. Partly from the practice, and I think partly from how you feel different each week as you work on the portraits. How we feel inside is reflected in how we look on the outside. and surprisingly, how we look on the outside can change how we feel on the inside. Dressing up can make us feel better but we cannot count on surgical changes to make us permanently change how we feel about ourselves.
    I think you have mastered some of the features since they show up in each of the portraits.
    Keep it up as long as it gives you pleasure.

  4. Well, I wouldn't say that I embrace my imperfections, but hopefully I accept them! I do believe I am able to give myself permission not to be perfect. On the other hand, I do sometimes catch myself trying to "perfect" things, LOL.

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