The Art of Mess and Imperfection

MESSES AND IMPERFECTIONS ARE TOTALLY ALLOWED AT MY HOUSE.

I love making (...eh, AND cleaning) messes, and my best and favorite roommate of all time (it’s totally my mom, y’all) tolerates my messes and has never (really) freaked out if** I experiment or test or explore my messy ideas... In her kitchen...

Or if* I spill bottles of stainy liquid things or break things.

Or if* I try something new and fail and have to start over again with brand new supplies and tries.

Hey, I’m a human person who’s naturally inclined towards... layers... and complexity. ;)

NATURE IS NATURALLY MESSY.

At least, I’m not bothered by chaos or disarray. At best, I thrive in it (but only to a point and for a time). It seems like most everything for me, these days, it’s all about that balance, you know?

I love finding those magical connections in happy accidents. I don’t think those accidental magical things occur, very often, once they’re ordered and organized.

I need balance in both—chaos AND order—to complete a creative cycle, but we’ll save the art of imperfect organization for another day and another essay.

For now, back to the mess-making...

When I first started this grand and brand new, professional adventure, I was in serious need of a serious creative detox from a seriously long and serious corporate career.

So, I started a personal journal project where I’d only write with giant markers or sticks on sheets of loose paper. I made book-notes and audiobook-notes and podcast-notes.

I sketched typographic feelings, ideas, and opinions in bold and scratchy letters across gridded and randomly-ruled-writing-papers. Paper towels. Tiny, torn gaffers-tape-tapestries.

I spilled and splattered.

I painted with inky fingers, chewed sticks, and found feathers.

I made things, again, just for the sake of making and only for myself.

I had freedom to play in the messes I made.

The only point was to MAKE something without judging it, sharing it, or selling it.

So, I fell in love with those marks and scrawled writings, and the idea of “messy imperfections” as a theme for this collection of messy, imperfect things was born.

This entire website is my creative process in progress.

These projects are changing and existing despite their incomplete state (sorta like me). I’m sharing them anyway. I’m putting them out there because I’m ready for my own messy and imperfect things to be out in the messy, imperfect world.

For me, these are exercises in making messes, magic, and things. I’m celebrating their imperfections and sharing them anyway.

How about you?

What’s the last (intentional) mess you made?

How long’s it been since you started over with inky fingers?

Don’t you ever wanna play in the mud for no good reason?