Beira Brown | artist seeking life's borderless extravagance »

Create and Release

The unfinished photo book of 2012 felt like a boulder blocking my creativity. While I managed to move forward with some other creative projects, those unedited photos would whisper to me and nag me for not completing my work, for having unfinished business, for neglecting my art. Through a personal challenge I tackled one month at a time, culling and editing, exporting and designing page layouts with hundreds of photos of my beautiful family. Even though that unfinished project had pestered me, I was thankful and grateful for its delayed completion.

The gift of time will often bring wisdom that guides us and steers us in ways we would have missed in past time.

As I sifted through raw images with older, wiser eyes and a fresh perspective on what’s meaningful to my life, I was able to discover treasures I would have discarded as trash and dismissed their keepsake because of their imperfections.

When we give the voice of perfectionism permission to commingle with our creative process it will scream in our ears and pull blinders over our eyes.

It will silence all other voices of encouragement to progress and it will blind us to see the beauty of our creation.

Like a demeaning critic it will always cut at our identity because it finds every imperfection and it stops us from moving forward until each is corrected and perfected.

Perfectionism is never satisfied.

It always seeks out the worst.

It always screams out, “It’s not good enough.”

It always points out the missed details.

Perfectionism is never satisfied.

It drives and pushes and demands more of you to the point where you lose sight of the reason you started in the first place. It tells you that you didn’t work hard enough all the while you lose the sense of your being and the joy of creating.

Yet, when chance graces over you and you do get it perfect, perfectionism doesn’t celebrate you. No, it demands that you repeat it. It demands that you exceed it.

Perfectionism is never satisfied.

Perfectionism, towering over you with its menacing finger pointed at you, makes you shrink back.

Perfectionism leads to paralysis so nothing gets released into the world.

But we have a choice to silence that parasitic voice and allow the best to have our full attention.

“Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.” Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Our best is not perfection. Our best is progress, moving forward with imperfections.

Our Creator never demands perfection of ourselves, so why do we? Our Creator is not impressed by perfectionism.

Our Creator, who poured out creativity into our beings when He breathed into us, only asks that we use and share our gifts.








Create your art.

Take the action in it.

Live life creating because you are creative.

Our creator wants us to foster a life of creating. He knows that as we immerse ourselves, our craft will be refined with practice. This process of development as an artist is a journey of creating and releasing.

This process is never about the finished product, but always about the journey. Progress will allow you to complete projects, but it will never devalue your mistakes. Progress will tell you when it is time to release your art, even when it isn’t perfect.

Progress will allow you to explore, fail, learn, and grow. The removed pressure to perform for perfection will open up a world of risks, risks that will enrich and lead you to a wide-open spacious life.

Your progress will always propel you forward if you stay committed to simply creating and releasing.

Silence perfectionism and give the microphone to progress. Then embrace the encouragement to create and release.



In the spirit of releasing, I leave you with portraits I made of my kids this past fall on two separate evenings. Warning, it’s photo heavy!




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