How do you deal with perfectionism?

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Elkman

New Member
OK, this is sort of a different topic, since it isn't about specific materials. I'd like to know how others deal with the urge to be perfectionists. In other words, what do you do if you see flaws in your costume pieces?

The reason I ask is because I thought I had something really cool when I finished my Predator suit and had it in the Masquerade at CONvergence 2010. And, of course, it was cool to win Best In Show for it. But now that I've had it for a while, I keep thinking about its flaws, like the fact that I sculpted the head shape of the mask all wrong. I bought a Pete Mander mask to deal with that, but it just bothers me that I got that wrong in the first place. I had other limitations due to the fact that I had a deadline. I made a lot of armor from Sintra and I didn't have time to do any detail in the painting.

What do you guys do when you're looking at your own work and not seeing it as perfect? Yeah, I'm still working on things and still making improvements, but it just bugs me that I didn't get some of this stuff right in the first place.
 

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Night Wing Pred

New Member
OK, this is sort of a different topic, since it isn't about specific materials. I'd like to know how others deal with the urge to be perfectionists. In other words, what do you do if you see flaws in your costume pieces?

The reason I ask is because I thought I had something really cool when I finished my Predator suit and had it in the Masquerade at CONvergence 2010. And, of course, it was cool to win Best In Show for it. But now that I've had it for a while, I keep thinking about its flaws, like the fact that I sculpted the head shape of the mask all wrong. I bought a Pete Mander mask to deal with that, but it just bothers me that I got that wrong in the first place. I had other limitations due to the fact that I had a deadline. I made a lot of armor from Sintra and I didn't have time to do any detail in the painting.

What do you guys do when you're looking at your own work and not seeing it as perfect? Yeah, I'm still working on things and still making improvements, but it just bugs me that I didn't get some of this stuff right in the first place.
What I do for other projects (Only do this if your not going to upgrade it) I put up my first creation in view of where I work, so if I get frustrated and or irritated I look at it to remind myself that I'm trying to perfect my skills and get better at it.

Hope this helps! :D
 

Termokk

New Member
My first predator mask has been totaly scraped and i cut my losses. If it doesent wow me then i throw it out and start over. I think perfectionism is the way we can be the best we can be. In my opinion...
 

scottyw

New Member
My first predator mask has been totaly scraped and i cut my losses. If it doesent wow me then i throw it out and start over. I think perfectionism is the way we can be the best we can be. In my opinion...
I totally agree. I'm only just starting out with my build but the perfectionist in me simply won't allow for things not being right, if i'm not happy with a result i'll start all over again. Sometimes it can be an incredibly frustrating thing though, especially when it's your own ability to do something that's holding you back, but that's where hard work and the awesome resources of forums like this one can help build your skills from novice to pro.
 

Lflank

Well-Known Member
OK, this is sort of a different topic, since it isn't about specific materials. I'd like to know how others deal with the urge to be perfectionists. In other words, what do you do if you see flaws in your costume pieces?

The reason I ask is because I thought I had something really cool when I finished my Predator suit and had it in the Masquerade at CONvergence 2010. And, of course, it was cool to win Best In Show for it. But now that I've had it for a while, I keep thinking about its flaws, like the fact that I sculpted the head shape of the mask all wrong. I bought a Pete Mander mask to deal with that, but it just bothers me that I got that wrong in the first place. I had other limitations due to the fact that I had a deadline. I made a lot of armor from Sintra and I didn't have time to do any detail in the painting.

What do you guys do when you're looking at your own work and not seeing it as perfect? Yeah, I'm still working on things and still making improvements, but it just bugs me that I didn't get some of this stuff right in the first place.

I never stop.

I've already re-done the backpack on my recently-finished suit, because I was looking at it and thought, "Ya know, I bet that would look better if I did it THIS way instead.

I expect that in a year or so, my entire suit will look different than it does now.

Perfection is never achieved, but always striven for. :D
 

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VaderDave

New Member
I never stop.

I've already re-done the backpack on my recently-finished suit, because I was looking at it and thought, "Ya know, I bet that would look better if I did it THIS way instead.

I expect that in a year or so, my entire suit will look different than it does now.

Perfection is never achieved, but always striven for. :D
This is how I am too. I'm working on my costumes all the time. You see a better Buckle here, a nicer leather there. Upgrading is a never ending process. I'm currently working on the 4th version of my Vader while obtaining the parts for my Pred but I am sure I will see something that will need to be worked on and improved. :)
 

Brandon1

New Member
I turn off the lights and slit my wrists.

:D
I try my hardest to do things.. if they don't work out I leave it and relax then go back at it. If i'm still not happy I ask for help or for some more information or any tricks. Practice, practice, practice. I know that no one ever walks away from something the first time and as a creator you always see flaws anyway, even when no one else does.
For instance, the trim in my car is this fake wood pattern.. and there is a spot that bugs the piss out of me where the wood grains don't match up like they started a new roll of fake wood right in the middle of my dash. No one else sees it, but I do.
Having a bit of perfectionisim or OCD you notice **** where everyone else doesn't.

Guess its a matter of looking back and saying "hey, not to many other people can even do this. I did my best and look how well it turned out."
 

hez1

New Member
I've had to accept that there are always going to be flaws in stuff that I do (even if only I can see them). All you can do is say well, I can redo it if I get a chance. Interesting fact, but Steve Wang himself was not happy with the shape of the head for the P1. He got a chance to fix it when he did the 1/3 cinemaquette statue, and make it a little more sloped like the P2.
 

Mannowar

New Member
A couple suggestions would be to first buy a large pair of calipers. These will aid you in getting the general symetry correct. You can measure widths at various points of the mask to make sure you're where you want to be.

The second would be to photograph it at each stage... size, photograph and analyze... shape, photograph and analyze... then detail and photograph. You'd be surprised at how much more a photo reveals than what you actually see when looking directly at it.

The other big mistake I see a lot of novice sculptors making is that they get so anxious to start the detailing and they jump ahead WAY before the scult is ready for detail. Take your time before you put one striation of detail on it.

I noticed a couple people in your mask thread were pretty harshly critical of it, suggesting that you scrap it AND your armor... One suggested scrapping the whole suit. Some folks are just watering at the mouth to criticize others, as evidenced by the fact that you weren't asking for input on your armor, yet someone still had to pile on. Unbeknownst to them, you're already dealing with the armor! As fact would have it, I looked through their posts and don't see anywhere that either have sculpted ANYTHING, so you can decide how much value to put on their opinions...

Yes, the mask has a couple issues, the larger of which is the low dread line and the fact that it also sits back a little far behind the jaw... but you pointed this out in the title of that thread, so you obviously saw it yourself, just after the fact. On the next try, move the whole dread ridge up and in about an inch and you're golden.... the only other thing I'd change is don't round off the lower mandibles so much.

But back on topic... get some calipers, photograph it often and detail it only when it's ready. And don't worry about perfection... Only Giotto's circle is considered "perfect"
 

CoolleKotten

New Member
How do I deal with perfectionism?
Well, I have been drawing my viking predator for two years and I am still not finished about the design! :D Every now and then I come up with a new idea, something cooler or more suitable etc. to her and the design changes everytime. :) But its a good thing too, I believe, because then you see how far you have come and how the process went to the final result. What things you stuck with, left behind or turned into something else. You can see how you have developed and learned through the project and that is important, I believe.
I dont see my previous works/drawings etc. as "non-perfect", but a step to try, learn and become better.
 

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hez1

New Member
Mannowar is dead on about looking at it in as many ways as possible. To quote a different fanboy icon, 'your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them!'

You get used to looking at it and no longer see the flaws. And ignore the haters...
 

panik33

New Member
Yeah to be honest I give in to my perfectionism for example

I finished my pred ready for the London expo in may and I wore it and it was great but the paint on the body got trashed so I am now currently resprsying the whole costume where I could have just did some touchup work

It was also meeting mattius and predator Paul and seeing there costumes I turned round and looked at mine and to be honest it looked **** so I vowed from that day forward I would make my pred perfect and I'm now in the prossess of dooing that and I want to get it finished by expo in October
 

Unforgiven Hunter

New Member
What I started doing last year is working on more then one project at a time. I have 5 armatures with 5 different sculpts, I think it helps because whenever I get that feeling that I'm not liking what I'm doing I will go and work on another sculpture.

-Chris
 

Usurper

Well-Known Member
You will never make anything PERFECT, deal with it and just enjoy trying :)

Mask wise i used to be obsessed with symetry, but looking at a human face for example, we are not perfectly symetrical.

have you ever seen the mirror thing where someone copies the one side of their face to the other? they look really odd. so i do not worry about that any longer, close enough is good enough.
 

Elkman

New Member
Thanks for the opinions. I guess I haven't really thought of a Predator suit or any other costume as something that I update over time, mainly because I've always built my costumes as entries for a masquerade at a convention. With those, there's always a deadline, and there are always compromises that I have to make in order to get things done in time.

Still, I can't help but think that there are certain things that I should have done right THE FIRST TIME. In the case of my mask, it's not just a problem of symmetry or making a few small mistakes -- I got the entire shape wrong! For supposedly being a master-level costumer, I should have gotten that right. I should have checked out some more model sheets and diagrams.

And this is the part that bugs me:
I noticed a couple people in your mask thread were pretty harshly critical of it, suggesting that you scrap it AND your armor... One suggested scrapping the whole suit. Some folks are just watering at the mouth to criticize others, as evidenced by the fact that you weren't asking for input on your armor, yet someone still had to pile on. Unbeknownst to them, you're already dealing with the armor! As fact would have it, I looked through their posts and don't see anywhere that either have sculpted ANYTHING, so you can decide how much value to put on their opinions...
Yeah, that thread had a few things that really bothered me: the idea that large parts of my suit were "unsalvageable" and that my suit was just a "placeholder". If I'm going to work for seven months on something, it had better be worth the hard work and it had better be presentable, not just a "placeholder". If I'm going to spend that much time, I'd better get a suit that looks good from the start, not something that misses the mark.

I'm getting more and more frustrated just thinking about this. I think I need to take apart some old electronics just to deal with my frustration.
 

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Mannowar

New Member
I think you're frustrated and making more of this than you need to... I just went back and looked closer at the mask. You're not really off on the shape... you were only off on the dread ridge... I mentioned before to move it up and in about an inch... after looking again, it needs to go up and in about 2 inches, not 1 inch... had that been the case, the entire shape of your mask changes, so in general, I don't thing you were that far off on shape, aside from the one problem that's obvious in the aftermath... one question... did you post up any pix while in the sclupting stage, because I'm sure someone would've pointed out the problem with the dread line... so in the future, post up some work in progress pix for feedback as well, as sometimes the eyes of others are seeing things that you aren't and you can make corrections before you slap plaster on it.
 

Mardikrewe

New Member
I actually have the exact same problem ............. my wife calls me a "freak"!

I make a very long list of things I don't like, prioritize them into a time frame and get as many of them done as I can before each time I wear it.

My Cylon was no different. 2 1/2 years of re-engineering until ............ perfect, well, near perfect. I don't think one is ever completely happy with thier suit? There is always things you can do to improve.

Don't be hard on yourself. Like I tell the other Cylon's ...... it's a treat just to stand next to another
 

Robillicus

New Member
I guess I don't really deal with perfectionism so much as a I cope with it. Perfectionism; or being a perfectionist, can be a good thing... but, it can also be a creative hindrance. I feel that it pushes me as an artist to do better than before, but it also causes me to sweat small details. So much so that it's on my mind constantly - at school, at work, at night etc.

I think that when it starts to interfere with your daily routine (working on something well past the alotted time - being late for work or school in my case) does it become a problem. I also think that it keeps you from growing creatively. You're less likely to move outside of your comfort zone and try new techniques and whatnot. Which, for example, is why most of the Predators that I draw remain in the same frozen pose. Really, I'm trying to expand to different poses, but it's hard because it's out of my comfort zone and it probably would turn out how I'd want. I'd probably spend hours correcting stuff all OCD like. It's the same with painting and sculpting as well.

Actually, I find that perfectionism is more of a curse than anything. You need to be able to finish a project and move on, and I am not at a point where I can do that.
 

Jon

New Member
My perfectionism comes from a different hobby, but it's still applicable. I build 90% of my props without the aid of precision machinery. I have a lathe, but use it to face, part off, and occasionally turn a part down to a nominal diameter. That's it. Most of my complex work/cuts are done by hand with a Dremel and I spend hour after hour with jeweler's files to get the cuts as perfect as I can.

I can always spot the flaws in my work, which is why I don't own anything I have built with my own hands. Other people, on the other hand, can never spot the flaws I see so apparent. Even when I point out a flaw to my wife and show how distraught I am over it, she strains to see it and often times cannot.

Perfectionism can bee both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing in that you are motivated to do the best job you can. You aren't willing to settle for second-best and you'll redo something rather than have shoddy looking work. It's a curse though in that you can get bogged down in minutiae and miss the big picture.

On the gauntlet bases I just finished up...there's quite a few flaws in them that honestly drive me nuts. I'm not going to redo them though. It would take a close inspection and a discerning, educated eye to spot the flaws. When the costume is done and completed and I show up someplace wearing it, nobody is going to notice the gaps between segments on my gauntlets aren't perfectly consistent at 1/16".
 

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