Monday Series #20 – A perfectionist

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New day, new opportunity. New Monday, new Monday story.

This week we are starting the series of Turkish Monday stories, since I’m back to Ankara (yey?). Today, we have a fashion design student from Başkent University – Seda Korkmaz. At the moment, Seda is living and studying in Ankara. Let’s see what this beauty had to say!




”I started that Monday unbelievably energetic. I love getting ready, doing my hair and make-up. That was the reason I was a bit late for one of my favorite lessons-design, but still I was feeling cheerful and happy. We were starting a new thing on the lesson, designing and drawing patterns. Generally, everyone in the class, including the professor, have high expectations from me. They normally wait for me to start first and then they continue their work after seeing mine. However, this time, whatever I was to draw just didn’t work. I took the pen in my hand and even though it was touching the paper, it still couldn’t draw anything. So I left it there. I literally collapsed. I’m someone who does everything in superlatives; my dreams, plans, the things I do, the way I do them, my reactions, everything. I really do ”fly high’’. And it is because of this that when I fall, I get hurt badly. Because the fall is in superlative as well. People were still looking at me. Some of them even started their drawings and showed me what they did so that I could maybe start from there. But I couldn’t. I left the pen, and then left the classroom. I was about to cry. Firstly, I went to a place where I could be alone and then later I met some of my friends. What I remember specifically from our conversation is one of the girls asking me ‘’Do you act like this because you miss your mummy?’’. I like that girl, so I didn’t say anything, but I felt insulted. The way those words came out… As if she was making fun of me. I felt even worse than before. And yet all I could think of was the fact I needed to draw that pattern. So I decided to leave those friends and meet one of my professors. Someone who helped me prepare for my ‘’talent exam’’ and thanks to who I am here, in this school today. Someone I look up to. Someone whose art is absolutely stunning. We talked about the problem I had in the class and then she told me how she had gone through the same thing as well. Someone who is such a talented artist. Someone who lives in superlatives, just like I do. I didn’t even realize how high I was ‘’flying’’ and why this fall hurt this much until she pointed it out to me. Only then I met that side of myself. Only then I really saw how I constantly seek for more.

She also gave me some advice. She told me how I should just let it go and do something that makes me happy. Leaving this work, not doing it, doesn’t mean I’m automatically leaving the field of art. Sometimes, she said, it’s better not to force things too much. Because then, we risk breaking them. And no matter how much we try to fix something that is broken, it will just never be the same. So, I did. I just let it go.

Another thing she told me is not to think of people’s expectations. Wanting to create perfection is not really always a good thing. If this need for perfection comes from the inside, then it is ok. However, if it comes from the expectations of other people, then it only becomes a weight on your shoulders which eventually stops you from going forward. And I realized it was the people around me and their expectations that were drowning me. The people and the need to amaze them.

I didn’t do my drawing that day. I couldn’t do it for quite a while. Until I came across some Picasso’s work and it just hit me. I drew this portrait made up of patterns. (pic below) And you know what? On the presentation day, as everyone showed and described their pieces, I saw how everyone’s work was actually very similar to each other. In addition, just before the presentations, the professor gave us a list of characteristics/titles he wanted us to check the work on, like volume, balance, ratio, etc. So everyone would say which of those their work had, and which of them it did not. And in the end, I was the only one who had all of the requested characteristics in the piece, even though I hadn’t even seen the list before! And the only thing I did was try to forget about other people’s expectations and keep up to mine. Make myself satisfied with the work. And I figured out that once I fulfill my own expectations, other peoples’ would be fulfilled as well!”


Seda’s work


If you have a story you’d like to motivate others with, feel free to e-mail me:

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