How I Get it All Done – Perfectionism – An Addendum

by Lisa Call on December 28, 2012

in Being an Artist

My worktable
Working on new Portals Textile Paintings

Good Enough

A friend of mine had an interesting observation after reading my blog post from yesterday, summarizing how I get so much done.

He said one of the important things I do is that I don’t get hung up on being perfect.

I had to think about it some but yes, this is definitely true. So an addendum to yesterday’s list of why I get so much done:

  • Skipping Perfectionism – I don’t waste my time on the last 1% (or even 20% sometimes) of a project getting it absolutely perfect. In fact, when I find myself futzing over the last bits of a task or project, I know I’m procrastinating. Perfectionism is a nasty trap that I do my best to avoid.

Remarkable vs Perfect

As I noted in this blog post – The Opposite of Remarkable is Very Good – my goal is to achieve the remarkable – both in my art and the the workshops I teach.

The key is I understand the distinction between Remarkable and Perfect. They aren’t at all the same thing.

Being a perfectionist is a trap that keeps us from finishing. Setting unrealistically high standards isn’t healthy. It makes us feel like we are never good enough.

And it wastes time. So I skip it.

I can reach remarkable without being perfect.

What’s Going on in My Studio and Office

In the studio I’m making oodles of new small works that I plan to take to Baltimore for the ACC show. I’m working with my old hand painted and stamped fabric (see photo above) at the moment and have great fun with all the texture.

In the office I’m gearing up to start teaching again on January 6th so I’m dusting off my workshop websites, creating new content and getting excited anticipating interacting with students again. I’ve missed teaching the last few months.

I’m teaching 4 workshops this winter and 3 of the 4 are sold out. There is a still a bit of space remaining in Cutting and Piecing without a Ruler (a technique based workshop for quilt artists).

If you want to learn how to piece most anything – this is the workshop for you.

Details and Registration.

2 spaces remaining


shana December 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm

hi lisa

i really appreciate the distinction between remarkable and perfect. so true, so true. done is better than perfect has been my mantra. admittedly i don’t always adhere to this yet there is a freedom that comes from the awareness.

cheers from shāna

Lisa Call January 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm

You are most welcome Shana.

I like this thought “freedom that comes form awareness” – nice!


carol trice January 1, 2013 at 7:39 am

I also noticed a theme. You are very INTENTIONAL about your day. You are not chained to your To Do List, but you use it as a tool. It prevents you from being idle, but it needed, you can switch gears. In other words, if your To Do List does not serve you later in the day, you are flexible. That is a great combo: organized AND flexible. I am flexible….but I am an “organized wannabee”. Great at making lists but then not paying attention to them.

Lisa Call January 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Great observation Carol – thanks.

I am pretty flexible. And I was super flexible during this week before the holidays. Maybe too flexible though some days :):)

The trick is of course figuring out how to look back at your list. I find having accountability partners to be a huge help.


Jody MacDonald January 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

Lisa, I loved this post. It made me smile because an artist friend and I use the phrase “good enough” all the time. Perfection is simply not as interesting as something that is left a little raw and rough.
That being said, I am a recovering perfectionist and I have to be constantly vigilant to not obsess over that last 1%, trusting what I’ve created can still be remarkable even if it’s not “perfect”.
Thanks so much for the reminder.

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