Is perfection boring?

And why we should strive to achieve it

Ralph Ammer
Jun 1, 2016 · 4 min read

Florian says, perfection is boring since we are all obsessive problem solvers. When we see something imperfect, our perception wants to figure out what is going on — we get curious. On the other hand, when something is too irregular or “crappy” we ignore it as irrelevant noise.

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Triggering curiosity is one thing… but what is it that makes imperfections beautiful?

The Difference between Perfection and Mastery

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As you can see my drawing is far from perfect. The red area shows you how much my circle differs from the perfect circle drawn by a software. It illustrates the tension between goal and achievement. Mastery is the strive to make this area disappear. And Giotto’s (red area) was probably a lot smaller than mine.

Mastery is not perfection, it is the pursuit of perfection.

One thing that makes hand drawings exciting: the struggle

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Now my guess is that a similar kind of struggle can be witnessed in hand drawings. What makes them “alive”, “charming” or “personal” is not necessarily the unique “style” of the author, his personal “expression”. It is his struggle for perfection. Watching somebody draw can sometimes reveal that struggle. Artists and Designers often hide this process and only show the shiny results of their efforts. But in a world of perfect shiny products the imperfection of the process can be exactly what makes your work exciting for your audience. It makes the work appear human (in the best sense of the word) and thus: beautiful.

We love to see the process, not just the result. The imperfections in your work can be beautiful if they show your struggle for perfection, not a lack of care.

It’s never good enough — live with it!

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“Roofs, Venice”, http://postcards.ralphammer.de

In our pursuit for mastery we have to learn how to live with imperfections, with this tension between our goals and what we actually accomplish. Just like we all know this article could have been written much better. But it is the best I can do. So we have to live with what is right here right now.

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