Why the focus should be on volume, not perfection?

Because the desire for perfection too quickly can hurt us as creatives

Sarah Healy
Nov 4 · 4 min read
Pump up the volume (Illustration by Sarah Healy)

Create a pattern which suggests volume, lots, overwhelming

This is one of the rules of creativity that François Leroy aka the Friendly Robot abides by.

In a Collective Podcast interview with Ash Thorpe he cited

We want perfection too fast

I agree with this sentiment and it is definitely something that I have been guilty of as a creative and previously wrote about ways to move past perfectionism.

You see I am quite an impatient person.

This impatience extends to my creative endeavors. I want to go from zero to hero in under one second.

As creatives, we often tend to seek perfection in addition to validation from what we create.

Yet perfection is not something that can be easily attained.

By creating a lot of stuff we can slowly inch our way closer.


Volume is only one part of the puzzle

Volume is only part of the puzzle (illustration by Sarah Healy)

While we can achieve mastery over our tools by creating continuously.

It is not only about the output.

It is easy to create a lot of stuff.

Yet it is much harder to create a high volume of quality work.

Therefore it is important to create with intention, to learn as we go, reflect and try to continually improve.

Volume is just one part of a complex puzzle.


When is it most important to focus on volume

When should we focus on volume?

Well, always in truth.

Yet, when starting off focusing on volume will cultivate an environment of failing, learning and help move past being paralyzed by a desire for everything to be perfect.

In the beginning, you will create a lot of shit. That is ok.

Even Kyle Cooper admits in an interview with Chris Do from the Futur that his mentor Paul Rand

used to think that his work was ugly

Yet he did not let this deter him early in his career.

He understood that he and his friend were there to learn from Paul. They were not seeking validation and humbly accepted

At the time we were not good visually

Looking at the stellar career Kyle has gone on to have it is hard to imagine at one stage that he considered himself not visually gifted.

To date, he has created over 300 Main Title Designs and continues to create a high volume of masterful work that inspires awe in me and countless others.

Focusing on volume helps to retain that love for creating, trying new things and experimenting.

Failing is deeply intertwined in this process.


Why is volume important?

Why is it important?

Creating a lot of work not only allows for the space to fail, learn and grow but also results in a lot of practice.

It involves hours and hours spent with your tools, which allows you to achieve a mastery of sorts.

To the degree that your tools, whatever they may be are no longer obstacles in your creative process. They become an extension of you and you can more easily replicate what you envisaged in your mind.

To continually create is an obsessive trait, necessary to evolve and improve as an artist.

We feel compelled to create. even though it can be a laborious and painful act.

There is satisfaction in this kind of suffering. A fleeting moment of satisfaction before we move onto create the next thing.

Kyle Cooper, perfectly illustrates what it means to remain dedicated, excited and in love with his craft. It is clear he still gains satisfaction from his work even after decades in the field.


Volume is often overlooked in pursuit or perfection.

It is only by continuously creating that we can inch toward this idea of perfection, even though we will never actually attain it.


Sarah Healy is a designer, writer and adventuress, focused on motion design and visual storytelling. She authors content over on Design Digest and Happy Human.

Follow her on Twitter, Dribble, Behance or her website.

Design Digest

Design Digest publishes curated stories weekly on creativity, design and why it matters.

Sarah Healy

Written by

A multidisciplinary designer, storyteller, and adventuress with a penchant for endurance feats and exploring blank spots on the map. sarahhealy.net/

Design Digest

Design Digest publishes curated stories weekly on creativity, design and why it matters.

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