Mrs. Jones's Tea Party: Perfectly Imperfect
The bad news:
I was showing my illustrated children's book (see above) to a relative recently, and she told me: "I like it because it's so imperfect."
What? She must not realize that I'm no longer a mild-mannered illustrator, but a novelista packing heat. I'm a word warrior that might deposit a blasphemer into my next novel - and not as the hero or heroine. Maybe, she or he will end up picking their nose, or crop-dusting farts into every scene. They may be turned into a cockroach in The Savannah Book of Spells. (my 3rd book) Or murdered in Murder on the Grand Norse. It doesn't get much worse than that.
In real life, I stared back in dismay, wondering how to address this confounding statement. It did seem like she liked it, but then again, we haven't always seen eye to eye.
The word imperfect simmered on my neural-stove all weekend. Eventually, I googled the definition on the internet. Words like: second-rate, sub-standard and unsellable stared back at me. There was only one thing I could do, take out my frustrations on my keyboard, send my faulty feelings across the internet.
Art is never perfect. I've struggled with perfection my entire life. When I was a kid, I would erase holes in my paper tablets trying to achieve perfection. It was impossible. I love Jeffrey Tambor's quote. It fits this post perfectly!
The good news:
Always in life, there are connections and coincidences. Inspiration might be written on the rock that just hit you on the chin. The same day that I was stewing about my imperfect art, I read an inspiring article in the Star Tribune, about Kari Wagner We even have the same last name! (be sure to click/hop over to admire her art) She doesn't let Cerebral Palsy dampen her desire to create color, movement and a language all her own on canvas. The fear of imperfection doesn't prevent her from creating art with a special brush braced at the center of her forehead. So, I figure, I shouldn't let it stop me either. Of course, these days, I'm painting with words instead of watercolor. Isn't it funny how things turn up when you need them to?