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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *