The point of art making is not to make perfected-everybody-loves-it products. It’s about getting immersed in a process that feels fun and giving yourself the permission continue to do it regularly. The product is just a thing that came out of the process which we attach imaginary significance to. We have to let go of creating ‘final’ polished things and instead focus on practicing if we want our creativity to fully flourish. One way to do this is to focus on the quantity of art you make (and not the quality).
Carolyn Schlam in The Creative Path talks of her own experience with quantity: “So you don’t get stuck spending a thousand hours doing one painting that isn’t very good, instead make a thousand paintings of one subject. I once painted a thousand ways of looking at the sky… You then get to select which is the most successful, and you can make this a departure point for signature work.”
Focusing on quantity allows you to take more risks and not get hung up on ‘mistakes’ or making ‘bad art.’ All of those creative failures create a richer soil for further departure points of investigation to grow. The process of trial and error will ultimately create more opportunities to make work you do like compared to only striving to make polished work. In reality you’ll be too nervous to make any mistakes which could mean you stop making art altogether. Now that would be a mistake.