Monday, 20 April 2015

Embracing the "Ugly" - #LoveYourBlog week 3

Today's prompt for the Love Your Blog Challenge is "Ugly". Had I not already written about it, this post would most certainly have been about the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi which is evident in many of my photographs, like the one below - a 'weed' with a dark blemish, and a hair (or fibre?) on it. 
It is these very "imperfect" aspects which make me like this picture. Although they may be considered ugly by some, they make it much more interesting to me. Was the hair left by a passing animal or human? Or is it something that flew in on the breeze? Where did it come from? Is the black mark the first sign of natural decay, or a scar left by something?  I like that you can tell which direction the sun is coming from and I wonder if the flower will open more or change direction much as the sun moves.

I had been thinking about all of these things when I came across Lisa Congdon's Doodling Manifesto again. I'd read it before, but while thinking about the concept of ugliness and imperfection, I saw that it's not just applicable to doodling but also to blogging, creating, designing and any other aspect of life. Here are some key points which really stood out
- You are the boss of your art" [substitute 'art' with: blog, crafting, designs, life, etc.... ] - you get to do what inspires YOU. 
- Imperfection Rules. Embrace the imperfections.
- Everything you draw [write, make, do] is part of your journey, in Lisa's words
Everything you draw (even the stuff you don’t like) is part of your journey. It’s important to remember that even when you want to rip something out of your sketchbook because it is SO UGLY (and even if you do, and you can), the exercise of “making mistakes” or pushing something on the page too far when you should have just left it alone (sound familiar?) is all part of the journey of making art (regardless if you are a doodler or a professional artist). We learn & grow from those experiences. It’s important to learn to embrace the ugly, the mistakes, the “that looked so good until I added that color” moments. It’s all part of your path.
I can relate to this on so many levels, not just in my sketchbook but in my blog posts, in my knitting, when planning designs and even in things I do with the children. Yes, I'm really starting to embrace the ugly,  and it turns out that it's not so "ugly" at all. How about you? 


  1. A thought-provoking post - I try not to obsess over imperfections in my crafts and have come to refer to them as "design enhancements."

  2. You are right. The ugliness or imperfections in our knitting/crochet are part of the creative process. Making a mistake is how we learn. Imperfections also make a project unique and personal in some ways. Also what you think of a project is hugely subjective. Interesting link to the Doodling Manifesto too! x

  3. Great perspective. This is something I definitely need to embrace more.

  4. I don't tend to obsess over mistakes....sometimes I'll fix them, sometimes I leave depends on my mood...and the project.....but I am not a perfectionist.....

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  6. Just stopping in to say that I just watched the GBSB episode when your mom leaves--and even though it was a year ago, and I knew she would be leaving, I cried just a little. I want to meet your Mama! What guts and courage she has. :) I have to say that next to your Mom, I adored Heather!

  7. You'd think the word ugly was so commonplace but it really made us think, didn't it? I loved your post and how you described the picture.

  8. I like your picture too! I like the idea that our mistakes are part of us and make us who we are. It's all too tempting to try to forget mistakes or miss them out of our backstory.


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