Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wabi Sabi

Sometimes, the hardest thing about starting or working on a project is the worry or fear it won't turn out right. Each stroke must be perfect. The whole must be perfect.

While reading the Villari's Martial Arts fan page (Himself is a 3rd degree black belt), I came across the discussion of Wabi Sabi. Simplified, it's a Japanese philosophy that nothing is perfect. The imperfections are what make an object beautiful.

In the beginning of our training, calligraphers slavishly copy the exmplars of various hands. Hours and hours of trying to make each stroke of each letter perfect. And always that nagging little voice saying this letter is no good, that line is ugly.

I found the concept of Wabi Sabi to be freeing. There will always be the pursuit of perfection, perfect letter forms, but the imperfections in a piece will breathe life into it and show the growth of the artist as s/he develops his or her own, distinct style.



  1. Ooo! As a writer, I absolutely love this idea! Thanks for sharing, CJ!

  2. Oh, I think this is spot on! I remember thinking that computers would replace calligraphers because of all the different calligraphy fonts, but truth be told, it is TOO perfect to be beautiful and inspiring. You do such beautiful work! It looks like perfection to ME! :)

  3. This is so good! I have to remind myself quite often that I have permission to write an imperfect first draft. :)

  4. Hard words for a committed Type A to accept, but there is great truth in them. Thanks!