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By Katerina Panaretaki

Words…They can be so powerful and beautiful. They can be used in so many different ways. They can create and they can destroy, they can reunite and they can alienate. Some words are so beautiful, I wish I could hold them and admire them, the same way one would do with an object. Perhaps words are not meant to be touched though. In fact, their purpose is the opposite, it is almost a word’s responsibility to touch us, in any way that may be. They can caress, hold, excite, hurt, frustrate, manipulate us and perhaps most times they have more power over us than we have over them.

Photography by Katerina Panaretaki

When it comes to being creative and making art there are certain things that can hold one back from achieving their full potential. One of these things, in my opinion, is the need to be perfect and make work that will be considered perfect. I question myself this every day, when and why did perfectionism become our goal? Who decided that what is “perfect” is also what is right or good? At the end of the day, how do we know when something is perfect?

As a young adult, I used to think that by achieving perfection in anything I did, I would feel a sense of self-worth, but later on I realised that these things should not be compared to one another. In most cases, striving for perfectionism prevents one from achieving greater things.

It promotes an unhealthy obsession and all in all creates frustration and disappointment when not achieved. It is a never-ending cycle of attempting to pursue something but feeling like it is not good enough because it is not perfect so then we give up, put that idea aside and stop creating because we fear the end result. We simply procrastinate and put on hold a process that should be freeing and liberating.

Photography by Katerina Panaretaki

After many years of being stuck in that mindset of ‘what I create has to be perfect’ I only recently decided I have had enough of being stuck in that dark hole of uncertainty and inhibition. Coming back to the beauty and the power that words hold but also how they can hold us back, I feel it is time for society to give more recognition to other aspects of a creative process.

Perfectionism should be replaced by dedication. Artists and creatives in general should be aiming to express and explore their instincts without fearing what will be.

Photography by Katerina Panaretaki

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