I’m not sure how this happens, but I am pretty sure I was born with the overachiever/perfectionist gene when it comes to art. Still today, I find myself not settling for anything less than what I deem close to perfect.

I remember in first grade my parents were called in because I was late with some homework. Once examining my school desk, they found a stack of unfinished papers. The truth was is that even on the Math homework, there were images that we could color in. I definitely couldn’t turn in a page that wasn’t perfectly filled in with my fabulous color pencils or crayons. So all my papers were stacked up that weren’t colored yet.

Fast forward 25 years and there is still some evidence of this perfectionism. The other week I posted the rose painting because I was so excited to share my new colorful artwork with everyone! Even after it was posted and named by “Desert Rose” by Harmony Brown, I still wasn’t 100% ready to create prints or note cards from the image.

Rose Painting by Julie Rustad
BEFORE: The previous “Desert Rose” by Julie Rustad

So I looked at it, put the paints back on my palette and started working on it again. I wanted to feel really, really good that it was the best I could do.

Although I love lots of color, I felt that my rose was a little too tricked out and was losing the original feeling of the rose — color that pops from the inside to outside. I wanted the very center of the rose to be the focal point .

I felt that how I originally painted the leaves, looked sloppy I also wanted them to be more substantial and with more detail.

Here’s how “Desert Rose” looks now.

DESERT ROSE by Julie Rustad
AFTER: “Desert Rose” by Julie Rustad (The updated version)

I suppose having the perfectionist gene isn’t such a bad thing, if it drives you to want to improve. It’s no surprise that I am a graphic designer too. The good thing is that I never miss a work deadline – I learned how to balance this characteristic with some good time management skills. As for my own personal artwork, I have a feeling that I could always find something to improve.

Can any of you relate? Does the feeling of making something “perfect” help or paralyze you? Share please!


If you like the new version of “Desert Rose”, 11×14 matted prints are available for $25.


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