When Making Do Isn’t Good Enough

Our house celebrates its 110th birthday this year.  As with any old house it needs constant attention.  Luckily, most of it is basic maintenance and simple upkeep.  Nevertheless, whatever work we do is very important because it has to stand the test of time and has to maintain the character and style of the house.

We are slowly working down our list of things to do and can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.  Most of the work has been done and we are now at the painting, decorating and tidying-up stage.  It has taken us several weeks to get to this point and we have paid attention to detail each step of the way.  Although we know that the effort will reap rewards in enjoyment, it is tiring and right now we just want to get it done.

The other night I was finishing up one activity and the end result just didn’t look quite how I wanted it to.  However, because I was tired I decided that it was probably good enough.  Now, every time I walk in that particular room I see the shortcomings with just making do.

Why is it then that whenever I am working on my photography the final product has to be precise and exact?  To me there is no “making do” in creating my art.  I can easily spend hours, days or even weeks trying to perfect an image and although it is tiring there is never a point where I just feel that my work is done simply because the image is good enough.  Not unlike the work that we are doing to the house, the end result has got to stand the test of time and it has got to expound a certain character and style.  However, it differs in that the final product of my art making has got to be perfect every time. If not, it’s either back to the drawing board or it simply doesn’t make the cut



  1. Arthur,
    As craftsmen we must always strive for perfection. When working on our house or crafting our art. I was finishing the basement of my first house and I goofed up a small section and was getting ready to rework it and my wife asked if it was good and I said yes, she said than no one will notice, but I said I will!
    So its not always the viewer but the maker that knows the degree of perfection. And if you really want to know if its right ask a child, they dont miss a thing.

  2. Great question Arthur! I think it comes down to passion and pride. Like you I certainly have pride in my home, but have made certain short cuts on some projects and I see them every thime I look. My wife and others think the work looks fine, but yet I know it may be less that I desire. Perhaps with your art, you just have a higher level of passion.

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