Perfectionists unite!

  • In this project, we who are always trying to do everything just right will set out to do everything wrong. Our goal: To make the ugliest art we possibly can.


  • STEP 1 OF 10

    First, let’s gather up some supplies:

    A large piece of paper or cardboard — or a piece of clay if you want to make an ugly sculpture

    Paint of any kind or color

    Foam brushes or paint brushes

    Magazine & newspaper clippings, pipe cleaner, string, fabric, wrappers, foil, sticks, stones — whatever you can find to make your art truly hideous

    A pen for proudly signing your ugly masterpiece

  • STEP 2 OF 10

    If you are working on paper, start by drawing a perfect square in the center of your page.

    If you are working with clay, keep pounding your piece of clay against your desk or table until you’ve created a perfect square.


  • STEP 3 OF 10

    This is what happens when we try to be perfect all the time: We keep our creativity and potential locked inside a box. We are so afraid of making mistakes that we hold back from trying new things.

    So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to bust out of that perfect box. Are you ready?


  • STEP 4 OF 10

    To begin, that box is going to need some new lines — crooked, wavy, scribbly, imperfect lines.

    Or, if you are working with clay, that box is going to need some squashing and squeezing.


  • STEP 5 OF 10

    And now, let the dripping of paint and tearing of paper and gluing of trash begin!

    Each time your work of art begins to look too neat and tidy, add something new.


  • STEP 6 OF 10

    Are you sure you’ve made your art as ugly as you possibly can?

    Maybe you should add just one or two… or 17 or 18… more things to it.

    When you are finished, sign your masterpiece and display it someplace where it can be a reminder to you that it is far better to be free than perfect.


  • STEP 7 OF 10

    Here’s something you may have noticed: Imperfect can actually be quite beautiful! You probably created something that your trying-to-be-perfect brain would never have come up with.

  • STEP 8 OF 10

    And here’s something else you may have noticed: Turning your inner critic off and setting yourself free feels really good.

    So, next time you’re feeling stuck on an assignment, try this: Get out a piece of paper or clay and make some ugly art. Probably, when you go back to your school work, you will feel a whole lot more creative, relaxed, and free.


  • STEP 9 OF 10

    And now for the ultimate challenge:

    Stand up proud, mess up your hair (put some balled-up paper or pipe cleaners in it if you want!), add a dab of paint to your nose if you dare, and make the weirdest face you possibly can.

    You know what else is quite beautiful? Imperfect YOU.

    And the more okay you are with how you look on the outside, the more courageous and free you will feel on the inside.

  • STEP 10 OF 10

    Want to share your masterpiece with us? We’d love to see it. And we hope you’ll send us a photo of that other work of art (YOU) too!