A Lovely Mess: A 10-Day Collage Art Challenge (Bye, Perfectionism!)

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Confession time: I am a recovering perfectionist. As I tune up my blog and get it revving for some exciting new projects and ventures, I have never been more sure that what has always kept me from doing things sooner is the fear of my work being superb enough.

You can tell the struggle that usually what goes down when I'm about to approach that infamous blank page. I would toil away excessively trying to figure out how to put every detail in their right places — as if there has always been a "right" place. As if I know where that place is. And honestly, this has only left me with more half-completed projects and those that were completed, I never really wanted to show you because they're just "not that great."

Perfection may seem like your most efficient employee at first but if left unsupervised, it bootlicks you enough so it can creep into the backstage, pull the plugs and sabotage your show. And because nothing is perfect, the aim of perfections is basically No-thing. It steals you away from living. It eats up your presence and feeds your ego. It will always present to you an illusion of a better thing, a better life, a better person to make, have and be with. But because those things are elusive, it suggests it's better to not do anything, to just wait, not knowing the waiting will always be to no avail. In that, Perfectionism keeps you locked up in your smaller story. It's prouder of your lesser self.

Much of our failure to make good art does not stem from not being good enough but from not allowing ourselves to mess up often enough.

So I've had it with this parasite! I want to finally start embracing the fact that I can't be more or less than who I am or what I can create for now — which, in case we've forgotten, is the only amount of time we have. And that's quite enough. That's always been the best place to start from.

As I raise my finger to Perfectionism once and for all, I am choosing self-expression as the medium through we can elegantly let this b*tch go.

Self-expression is not just about boldly and unashamedly sharing yourself, your stories, or your vision. Self-expression is about HOW you share this vision. How you let this world that exists within you to flow freely and authentically out of you. Authenticity creates impact. And what is authentic is not necessarily perfect.

Are you ready?

Join A Lovely Mess, a FREE collage art Instagram Challenge WHERE we'll explore the beauty in disarray and remember that imperfections make our art BEAUTIFUL, and us, humans, whole. 

Why Collage?

I believe no art form allows and encourages you to make a mess as liberally as Collage Art. And because you will be working with limited materials, it engages you to come to terms with imperfection. It makes you trust in the scary-beautiful unknown, and gets you to commit to the process and be more open to the result.

 Collage by Sean Eidder

 Collage by Sean Eidder

The Mechanics:

We’ve come up with a list of themes you can take inspiration from (see first image). Everyday, for ten days (from the day you prefer to start), create one collage artwork — can be analog or digital — and post it on Instagram. You are free to include a caption or an artist's statement that describes or tells a story about your piece. Use the hashtag #alovelymesschallenge to connect with other participants. 

Remember our rule, embrace the mess! <3

Sofia Cope