Story Pixel

Independent Interaction of Sam Wilson

  • antonio alvarez

    great punts. first time to site… incredable design man

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 4:55pm
    antonio alvarez's gravatar
  • Kai85

    Ha sounds like you are writing about my designer friend. Always talking about something she’s going to do but some circumstance always comes in her way.

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 5:39pm
    Kai85's gravatar
  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks Antonio, also re: Kai85, lots of people are like this, myself included, it is a big risk… I think when have to remind ourselves and our friends to start (and finish) personally important endeavors regardless of how well we think it’ll turn out.

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 6:13pm
    Sam Wilson's gravatar
  • Lafe Taylor

    Great post Sam.  I love the way you worded this one.  The article made me think of some things that were left undone or unstarted for this very reason.

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 6:57pm
    Lafe Taylor's gravatar
  • david

    This may be one of the most inspirational blog entries I have read. We sometimes need to says its “ok” to fall short of perfection.

    I may try to bake a soufflé tonight!!!

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 7:15pm
    david's gravatar
  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks everyone, means a lot

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 7:36pm
    Sam Wilson's gravatar
  • Deron Sizemore

    Are you talking about me in this entry? smile

    I try to NOT be like this as much as possible. Sometimes I can fight off the protectionist feeling sometimes, other times not so much. On my side projects, I’ve learned over time that getting the project online is better than stressing of the most minute details and never getting it online at all.

    As for my golf game… I can’t accept anything less than perfect. Can’t help it.

    Mon, November 02, 2009 at 8:31pm
    Deron Sizemore's gravatar
  • Sam Wilson

    re: Deron… how did you know? lol, totally kidding. Actually this entry was somewhat inspired by talking to a guy I met at a party. The last time I had talked to him he was preparing to do this epic bike tour across the country. As he told me about his plans I was floored by how incredible this was going to be for him. It was inspiring. Then when I saw him again one year later… I was eager to hear how it went. When he said he didn’t go because his friends backed out on him, it was so anticlimactic. I know circumstances do arise, but it was kind of a moment of realization for me. The things I deem worth doing, I must do them. No excuses. So this article was for myself as much it was in service to the creatives I know.

    Tue, November 03, 2009 at 2:15pm
    Sam Wilson's gravatar
  • Mike C

    excellent article. first time on this site. fantastic, keep i up!!

    Tue, November 03, 2009 at 2:32pm
    Mike C's gravatar
  • Christopher Meeks

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Awesome site, also. I appreciate people who try something very different for their website. It is really refreshing.

    I absolutely love this mesh background I am typing on…

    Wed, November 18, 2009 at 3:02pm
    Christopher Meeks's gravatar
  • Leslie Bourke

    This post makes total sense to me.  I love the “spice rack” metaphor.  Also love the overall site design.  The header is stunning!

    Fri, December 04, 2009 at 4:21pm
    Leslie Bourke's gravatar
  • Andrew Belt

    Out of every ten blog entries I read daily, I apply maybe only one. I would KILL to be able to apply this blog post to my daily design work. I feel this is the major obstacle holding back my creativity and efficiency of my designs.

    The Mona Lisa reference really gets me thinking. I tend to idolize great works of art and think of them as perfect. However, it’s the talent of the artist that causes the art to be thought of as perfect, not the amount of time put into fixing the tiny details to the liking of the artist.

    Sun, January 10, 2010 at 1:00am
    Andrew Belt's gravatar
  • Sepehr Lajevardi

    Precious words here, thanks.

    Wed, January 20, 2010 at 11:18pm
    Sepehr Lajevardi's gravatar
  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks all. I was “addicted” to trying to be pixel perfect for a long time. I realized after many years that addiction was rooted in an unreasonable fear of being judged unfavorably against (and by) my peers. That fear became a box which I was careful not to think outside of: “Oh, I probably won’t do a grass tile, it’ll take a long to make it match up perfectly.”

    Letting go of the fear has allowed me to think more about concept instead of execution which has improved my work. Sure, maybe my grass tile mismatches all over the place and my code isn’t formatted consistently. What I used to see as flaws I began to embrace as quirks. Now I define a flaw as a feature or quality that doesn’t support the larger concept. But small imperfections I have to embrace as quirks.

    The takeaway is the idea is king and the brushstrokes are his pawns. I am not perfect now but more importantly I know I’ll never be perfect. The perfect person only can get worse, not better. Who wants that? A perfect person wouldn’t feel the excitement of improving. What’s so great about that?

    Thu, January 21, 2010 at 10:45am
    Sam Wilson's gravatar
  • Jeff

    >“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.”
    >“So go ahead and make big scrawls and mistakes. Use up lots of paper. Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here - and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.”
    - Anne Lamott
    *bird by bird* 
    *Some Instructions on Writing and Life*

    Fri, January 29, 2010 at 8:38am
    Jeff's gravatar
  • microBrocos

    I simply love this article. Would you allow me to translate it into Spanish? Please let me know. Thanks!

    Wed, February 03, 2010 at 7:38am
    microBrocos's gravatar
  • طراحی سایت

    great punts. first time to site… incredable design man

    Wed, February 29, 2012 at 7:59pm
    طراحی سایت's gravatar

have your say...

Perfectionism, the enemy

Much like spice to food, perfectionism can either differentiate or ruin your project. Know how and when to turn it on and off.

If I can’t create a genius work like the Mona Lisa, why even open my sketchbook today? If my soufflé will suck in comparison to Rocco Dispirito’s, I’ll just serve potted meat. I wouldn’t know where to get started with PHP, I can’t make my own site.

Recognizing the perils of being a perfectionist is tricky since it’s not totally a bad thing. When we were young, perfectionism was the habit we learned that led to those gold stars, spelling bee trophies, and being accused of being “so talented.”

But in the professional world, perfectionism can be the enemy of creativity and happiness. It can keep us from starting important side projects. It can make us hate ourselves for being caught between the urge of doing something and the fear of it failing. It can cause us to hate our colleagues when they are recognized for work that we consider “not perfect.”

Perfectionism is your spice rack, use it occasionally; but don’t forget the main course of any project is several imperfect, messy steps. What’s important is that you start taking the steps, else you risk starving your creativity.

Update: this post was translated into Spanish. Thanks Manuel Iglesias Brocos.