I'm a Christian, a designer, and a gadget fan who lives in Cheltenham, UK.

This is my blog, a creative outlet to mess around and play with as well as a place that logs my thoughts and inspirations.

Two States of Perfection

For as long as I can remem­ber I’ve had a sketch­book on the go. I think I estab­lished the habit when I star­ted seni­or school, but I remem­ber hav­ing them back in juni­or school as well. They’ve been a com­pan­ion beside me all that time, wheth­er I’ve been draw­ing, writ­ing, brain­storm­ing, plan­ning, or some­thing else, they’ve helped me to be cre­at­ive in some form or another.
When a new sketch­book arrives, it always brings a moment of joy. The moment the wrap­pings come off is one of the two moments that a sketch­book is per­fect. There are no creases on the spine, no scuffs on the cov­er, no page corners curl­ing up or fol­ded in, everything sits square and com­pact, full of poten­tial. I always enjoy that moment. When a sketch­book is first opened it’s excit­ing, there’s poten­tial on those pages, but with it comes a hes­it­ancy, it’s some­thing that I don’t want to ruin.
It’s the fear of the blank page.
Over the last few years when I’ve star­ted a new sketch­book I’ve developed a habit. I open it to the first page, grab a pen and I write the same sentence.

I give myself per­mis­sion to mess this sketch­book up. 

From then on I use it how I want and it doesn’t mat­ter what goes in it.
It might seem a bit silly to write that sen­tence on the first page, but without it it would take a lot longer for my sketch­books to get to their second point of per­fec­tion. The moment they are fin­ished, either because they are com­pletely full, or the year has ended. At that point it’s done it’s job and deserves it’s spot on my shelf along­side all it’s older sib­lings, it’s per­fect because it’s been used and not wasted. It’s helped me think, helped me cre­ate, helped me pro­cess events that have passed, it’s poten­tial has been met.
Without that first page sen­tence and my nat­ur­al state of being a per­fec­tion­ist, there’s a chance those sketch­books would remain on the shelf in their first state of per­fec­tion. And in that state they would be a waste. What would be the point in own­ing them, if they remained forever in their first state of per­fec­tion and nev­er made the jour­ney to the second state of perfection?
It’s not just a sketch­book that has these two states of per­fec­tion. A blog has them, a can­vas has them, a book has them, a roll of film or an SD card in a cam­era has them. The unused per­fec­tion, and the fin­ished, full, com­plete per­fec­tion of a job well done.

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