There’s a phrase in Japanese culture that captures a multilayered and poetic sensibility: Wabi-Sabi. It’s about embracing the beauty in imperfection, impermanence, and incompleteness.
If creativity is capital in your world, you probably find yourself wrestling with these concepts.
As marketers and makers, we want our work to resonate. We want to see that traffic lift when we push out a new thing. But, more than anything, we want to be proud of the work we put our names behind.
We know doing great work is hard work. Sometimes, it’s even personal. And when you’ve had enough reps, you start to get a sense for when something isn’t quite right—often while you’re making it.
That this-must-be-perfect feeling can cause anxiety, endless feedback loops, and pushed deadlines. Not to mention the dreaded “FinalVerion5.2aPleaseMakeItStop.docx.”
But a creative process that produces great work isn’t guided by perfection. It’s guided by consistency. It’s about building momentum and keeping the ball in play.
In practice, that might mean:
- Rolling out individual features or website pages in phases rather than a full overhaul all at once
- Building your community in real-time with guidance and continuous feedback from your members
- Committing to a regular publishing or posting schedule to grow your audience
Putting things into the world that don’t feel “pixel-perfect” doesn’t mean watering down the quality. In fact, a little vulnerability can lead to a lot of relatability.
Many of us were certifiably shocked when digital artist Mike Winkelman (aka Beeple) sold an NFT (non-fungible token) for $69 million earlier this year. But maybe we shouldn’t have been.
The piece, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days,” was the culmination of a project that began on May 1, 2007 with a simple idea: draw something every day to get better.
A quick glance at Winkelman’s early work suggests that “good enough,” was central to the project’s evolution and success.
When asked about the first piece he joked, “I probably would have spent more time on this, had I known it would eventually be part of a piece auctioned by Christie’s!”
While Winkelman’s results are almost certainly the exception, consistency and embracing a little Wabi-Sabi, might be the rule.
~ From Brent, and The Team at Clique