Posts Tagged ‘art’

Quality vs. Perfectionism

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Perfection is the enemy of the good.” —Voltaire

I am sometimes a perfectionist. That’s no good. You might think that perfect is best. It is not.

Are you at times a perfectionist? How’s that working for you? When you get in the zone and you’re firing on all cylinders and working like a mad man/woman, you got the project in the can…well you thought, but there are some minor details, little tweaks that NEED to be made. How are your relationships affected when you are in this mode?

I’m just asking, because I’ve been there. And I know how limiting this state of being can be in those relationships most important to us.

But aren’t we supposed to bring our very best? Aren’t we to strive toward excellence? Is our work not to be quality?

Gary Molander, in his book, says

Perfect is a myth…Our lives are excellent. But they’re not perfect. Excellence requires that we take all of the ability given to us, and intersect that with all of the resources at our disposal. And we create from that exact intersection.”

Our best is good enough. As soon as those most dear to us go from supporting us to putting up with us, we’ve probably crossed the line into perfectionism.

Dr. Taylor Hartman sums this up wonderfully and arrives at the heart of the issue when he says

“[People] often ask me why [perfectionism] is a negative trait. The answer lies in the motive that drive perfectionism. Insecurity drives perfectionism, while quality originates from a legitimate valuing of excellence. The derivation of perfectionism and quality are exact opposites.”

Have you struggled with this tension? How do you know when you’ve wandered from quality into the wilderness of perfectionism?

Cited: Gary Molander “Pursuing Christ, Creating Art” and Dr. Taylor Hartman “The People Code”

Quotes from a Great Book

I’d like to highlight quotes from Gary Molander’s great book “Pursuing Christ, Creating Art”.  Go to to find out how to order your own copy.

Art finds its truest purpose when its creator attempts to make visible the invisible. Love is an invisible concept. So is patience. So is forgiveness. In its purest form, art enables people to see love, to see patience, and to see forgiveness. The Christian artist then, takes that primary purpose, and adds one word to it. God. p. 19

The best art is borne in the joy of heaven, or the pain of hell. God-fearing artists will experience both, and God will beautifully interact with them in both places. But to create from Hades – to try to become artistically motivated from a place of perfect balance between heaven and hell – will cause artists to create safer art that is less impacting on the viewer, and frankly more boring. p. 41

Real freedom is the ability to tell God’s story with your unique voice. p. 56

If God is not crucifying fear in the hearts of artists, then He’s probably busy crucifying our pride. That’s the other side of the same coin. p. 78

Perfect is a myth…Our lives are excellent. But they’re not perfect. p. 83

Excellence requires that we take all of the ability given to us, and intersect that with all of the resources at our disposal. And we create from that exact intersection – Ability and Resources. p. 83

Don’t ever let personal obscurity stop you from creating art. Please don’t worry about becoming famous, or about making a name for yourself, or about maneuvering the spotlight to shine a little brighter on your face. It’s one thing to get your art as broadly distributed as possible (a good thing), and that’ll take a great strategy. But it’s another thing to make personal popularity the end game. Just continue to do the work. p. 89

I wish we’d all learn to find the sacredness, not in the result, but in the process. Let’s work our tails off at the process, making it our sacrament. But let’s learn, possibly for the first honest moment in our lives, to truly leave the results in the more-than-capable hands of Jesus. p. 98

Artists know that they’re crossed the line into idolatry when they attribute salvation to their art…It’s so easy to jump from God-worship to art-worship. p. 108

I think discontentment is a good thing. There is beauty in this sensation that something in our lives is not yet finished – that we need to write something, or read something, or pray something, or draw something, or paint something, or shoot something, or sing something. And rather than fight against it, I wish we’d learn to embrace it. p. 121

When artists and leaders begin to attach expectations to their dreams, they create nightmares. p. 123

These days, it’s easier than ever for any artist to create a platform for himself, for herself. But the size of the platform doesn’t always equal the size of the character. Platform only displays skill level, not heart condition. Beware of the artist whose skill level surpasses their character. p. 155

The mark of a real leader is never the absence of fear, but the willingness to hand their fears over to a God who is both good, and sovereign. One hundred times every day. p. 157

But my greatest hope in all of this is simple. I hope and pray that you go create some art. That you create it in response to God. That you create it so the world sees a God who is unseen. That you not worry about how widely it’s distributed. Just worry that it’s distributed somewhere. p. 158

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. Seriously, buy the book! In case you missed my other post, here’s my conversation with GaryMo himself on this fine work:

“Untitled” Book Review

Blank pages be gone! Blaine Hogan’s new book “Untitled” is available for just $4.99 on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N. I read it and here’s what I concluded:

Blaine’s book, though easy to read, is a tough pill to swallow. One of the over-arching themes is that the creative process is so very hard, if it is to be done effectively. He most definitely got that point across! Yet at the same time, he comes alongside both the experienced and inexperienced creative person and gives some needed encouragement through personal stories and helpful examples. At times he is blunt and up front with the reader with a sort of tough love that is necessary for creative types to see reality. For me, one of the most compelling moments in the book was a tender comparison of art to that of a baby. Through all of the hard work, it’s way worth it! A truly wonderful and real moment in this great book.

Untitled is chalk full of excellent quotes by a number of sources. It’s accessible to all creatives across any line imaginable with references from prayer to Lady Gaga. It’s simple, but insightful. Philosophical, yet practical. Challenging, but motivating. Do like me, and read it with the highlighter tool do its job. This work is a must read and refer to regularly type book for any creative person who wants to excel in their craft.

Here’s a short video I found of Blaine himself talking about the book:


Bonus- Let me give you just some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“No one cares about your ideas or how great a pitch-person you are if you can’t execute your vision.”

“Vision is easy. Ideas are even easier. It’s execution that separates the amateurs from the pros.”

“You will not be stuck forever. The trick is to know there are no tricks. There is, in fact, no easy way. There is only the work.”

“This is the creative process – stop complaining! It’s messy! It’s rarely mappable! It is always dynamic and ever-changing!”

“The best ideas must move you before they can move someone else.”

“Art will always reflect the beauty and the brokenness inside you and a commitment to contemplation leads you to a place where you can release both in lovely and healthy ways.”

“Your art isn’t just the “what” of the end-result, but is also “how” you got there.”

“Our job is to communicate the human experience and is something a machine will never be able to do.”

“Content must come before the medium. Don’t set out to prove a point. Set out to tell a great story. That might seem like kid stuff to you, but they are so simple we often miss them.”

“It’s easy to sell something to someone, it’s far harder to tell good stories.”

“Your inner critic is very real and it wants nothing more than to kill your creative freedom.”

“Failures are absolutely essential.”

“Beauty is a tricky, slippery bugger. But she must be captured…”

There you have it, go buy the book and read it cover to cover! Again, it’s available for just $4.99 on Amazon, iTunes, and B&N.

GaryMo Interview

August 1, 2011 1 comment

PURSUING CHRIST. CREATING ART.  is about changing the world, one artist at a time. This is not a “safe” book. It’ll stretch you and challenge you. It’s unapologetic in its approach, brutally honest, funny at times and intimate at others. The most impressive aspect is that it has Christ as its backbone, and Gary’s heart reflects the light of our Lord. This is not just a practical creative resource. It’s an interactive heart check and a much needed message for all Christian artists. I could identify with Gary throughout his bold and brave work. I am truly blessed for having read it. -Gregory Fish

That’s what I had to say after reading an advance copy of Gary Molander’s book, and I meant every word. I believe that any Christian who is an artist in any way, shape or form MUST read this book. When you do, have a highlighter handy and also prepare your heart for God to work on you from the inside out. I caught up with Gary at Echo Conference and this was our conversation:

Of course, I encourage you to watch the full version, but if you only have  a few minutes here’s an edited shorter version:

Gary’s book is a labor of love that I would highly recommend to you if you are reading this post. Go buy it now as well as the E-confessional companion guide full-color and printer friendly .pdf download-

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