Can Art Be Perfect?

Here’s a sneak preview video of the album I was planning on releasing, but decided to delay it a month or so.

Can art be perfect?

I recently watched a South Park documentary that showed behind the scenes of making an episode.  The crazy part is they do each episode in only SIX DAYS!  And then they start from scratch for the next episode.

By the end of the episode Matt Stone was sort of unhappy with the result, feeling it was the worst episode they had done, do to script reduction, etc. (it was the Humancentipad episode, which I thought was hilarious).  But there was a quote he said that stuck with me.

He said he could probably spend 4 more weeks re-working the episode, but it would only be 5% better!  Which struck a chord with me involving my creation of an album.

So I got the idea to record an album (I already had written) and do all the mixing in a matter of 3 weeks.  I had the release date set for 11:11:11, and I was going to release it no matter what.  It turns out a got the recording part done in only 3 days (which was easier cause most of the album is only acoustic and voice, with a few trumpet and electric guitar overdubs).

The problem that arose for me was the mixing.  Since I’m new to mixing, it’s probably the challenging  part for me.  Usually when I do youtube videos I do the mixing really quickly and I’m generally happy with it.  But after I thought I had the final mixes, I intend to them again… I thought “Oh no no this is all wrong.”

So it turns out I wasn’t able to release the album since I was unhappy with the mixing.  It was sort of a test to see if I could do it, but even though I didn’t release the album, I feel I passed the test.  Mainly because I learned so much about the experience of not trying to make something perfect.

I do plan on spending an extra month or so remixing, but I won’t feel the pressure to have it done by a certain time, especially if I’m not happy with it.

I feel what I learned from this is it’s ok to spend more time working on something, but at some point you have to let it go.  Most of the stuff I hear that I feel is wrong, no one is ever going to hear.  When I listen to my own music, I can point out every little mistake and every little mixing error I feel I made.  But when other people hear it, they only hear it for what it is.  So it is difficult to come to that understanding, I’m still trying!

Does anyone else feel this way about trying to make they’re art perfect?


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