Does Perfectionism Ruin An Artists Creativeness?

This question sparked discussion in lecture today as a student explained “I haven’t posted the video of me playing because it’s not ready,” my lecturers all looked at each other from what would’ve been used as an excuse but stated that he was trying to be a perfectionist.

I feel that perfectionism (ones attempt to make something pristine and have absolutely no mistakes whatsoever) can ruin the creative process in that it strips away mistakes, now mistakes can be two things, a musicians best friend or his/her worst nightmare. From personal experience when soloing without the reliance of muscle memory I have hit a few notes I considered to be a mistake but afterwards have had compliments on my performance, soloing on “Killing In The Name Of – Rage Against The Machine,” the compliments stated “Wow! what scale did you use there? How did you pull that off? How can you not make mistakes?” when the truth is that I didn’t know what I did, I improvised and didn’t look at the guitar. 

I really don’t want to rely too much on shear luck or keep myself blinded when focusing on licks and soloing so an amount of perfectionism is needed, there should be a blend of both hedonism (total improvisation) and perfectionism to practice and perform with. You need the accuracy and dexterity to be able to play professionally but the ability to identify a mistake means that you can learn from it thus making you a better musician, mistakes can often mean to a bad facial expression showing to the audience that you have played something wrong, so in future I’m going to have to practice making mistakes and being passive about it.

So my conclusion to the above question is that it can ruin artistic creativeness but with a blend of hedonism in writing and playing then it’s great to have the playing ability to make something as good as it can be.

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