quality over quantity: when creatives should (and shouldn’t) follow it

quantity over quality

Here’s when to prioritize quantity over quality in your creative work – and having the confidence to do so.

posted on

June 28, 2024

Kira

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Ah, the age-old adage when it comes to creating your art without being stuck in the imperfection trap:

Should we follow quality over quantity meaning that it’s better to focus on creating something truly amazing — or just get ourselves to create?

In other words, when it comes to being a full-time artist — art, music, writing, design, etc. — should we focus on making each piece the best it can be, or churning out enough so we can get the muscle memory of creating?

What Does It Mean to Choose Quality Over Quantity?

Before breaking down when to do which, let’s talk about the differences between the two.

In art, quality over quantity means prioritizing the excellence in your work, and only releasing your art to the world when you feel it’s ready.

The positives of quality over quantity:

  • Leaning in on your excellence
  • Higher chance of more people resonating with your art
  • Greater self-satisfaction and confidence in your work (potentially)

The drawbacks of quality over quantity:

  • Takes a longer time
  • Can get stuck in the perfectionist trap
  • Might not feel consistent for your audience/fanbase

What Does It Mean to Choose Quantity Over Quality?

In art, quantity over quality is the idea of prioritizing consistent releasing to nurture and grow your audience/fanbase over being perfectionistic about it.

The positives of quantity over quality:

  • The more you create, the better you get
  • Many say that “done” is better than perfect – and in certain areas, it very well may be
  • Engages with your audience/fanbase to keep you at the top of their minds

The drawbacks of quantity over quality:

  • You might not have full confidence in your work like if you gave yourself more time to work on it
  • Might not showcase the best of your work
  • Could easily get caught up in the schedule rather than the art itself

When Quantity in Creativity Matters More

So, we’ve talked about how there are positives and negatives to both of these. But when do you know which ones to choose?!

Here are my takeaways and thoughts.

When You Want to Create a Consistent Ritual.

When it comes to considering quality over quantity, think of your creativity like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.

If you’re a writer, designer, or any kind of creative, making time for daily practice is key for manifesting your creative dreams! Just like an athlete trains every day, you need to flex your creative muscles regularly to improve and grow.

If you find that you struggle with consistency, choosing quality over quantity probably won’t push you to keep going.

Instead, when you create consistently, you build momentum and keep the ideas flowing. The more you create, the easier it becomes to overcome those pesky creative blocks and tap into your imagination.

When You’re Just Starting and Want to Experiment and Innovate.

When you’re just starting your creative lifestyle journey, there are so many different types, techniques, and ideas to try!

This is the time to experiment and play, to see what sparks your interest and what you’re naturally good at. And perfectionism cannot be welcomed to this party — it doesn’t let you experiment!

Creating a large volume of work allows you to explore and discover your own unique creative voice and style. And from there, you’ll be able to figure out who you are, what art you love to create, and even realize your goals faster.

I’ve always believed that taking inspired action will always help you achieve your goals faster.

When You Want to Follow a Content Strategy.

Social media is kind of like a game that just keeps rewarding you the more you play.

It’s a balancing act for sure — my mental health doesn’t do well with long hours of social media, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it’ll reward us for posting.

If you feel like your creating journey is starting from content, like if you’re an artist showcasing your Etsy shop products or a lifestyle creative, you need to have a strategy to ensure your content is plentiful and on-brand.

The good thing about social media, or starting things like a YouTube or blog is that the more you do it, the better you get.

This is where quantity over quality can come in, especially because if you really hate something, you can always take it down (or perhaps even edit it).

Time-Sensitive Projects: Awards, Contests, etc.

Sometimes, the creative world throws you a curveball in the form of a deadline. It could be a contest with a strict entry date, an art show with limited slots, or a client project that needs to be wrapped up ASAP.

In these time-crunched situations, really the only thing you can do is focus on finishing your project to submit it rather than perfecting, because the deadline will surely come and go if you focus on making it perfect.

Quantity can be your ticket to getting your foot in the door (quality will keep you there). Quality can expose your work to a wider audience, increase your visibility, and open up new opportunities.

So, when time is of the essence, don’t be afraid to crank up the volume and let your creativity flow. And don’t worry if it’s not as perfect as you wanted – because you’ve created something new, and that’s amazing.

When Quality in Creativity Matters More

Long-Term Strategies and Connections

You can’t chase a moving target.

So if you try to set imperfect or confusing dreams, it’ll be confusing for your long-term strategy.

When it comes to long-term parts of your artistry, I don’t believe in skimping out on the following:

  • Your 1+ year goals. Trying to chase goals that keep wildly changing will make your overall career trajectory feel a little wonky. It’s okay if things change a little bit, but ultimately, you should have a high-quality, rock solid vision of what you want your life to look like.
  • The people in your life. Don’t settle for quantity people and relationships, because they’ll lead you to know where. Knowing a few top-notch people, just like friends, will matter a lot more in your path.
  • Your visual branding and messaging. The entire essence of your artistry needs to be crystal clear to your audience and following. This cannot be compromised or continuously changing, like experimenting on social media would, for instance. You can makeshift these things for a bit, but it’s best to focus on getting some quality ways to make your artistic business feel totally cohesive to everyone you’re memorable.

High-Ticket Performances

When I was freelancing, I learned something. The higher I charge a client, the more responsibility I’m going to have. If I’m working on helping a website completely overhaul their SEO strategy to get more business, it’s a lot of responsibility on my shoulders compared to making a simple poster to advertise about a local yoga class.

Same thing is with any piece of art — when charging a premium for your art, music, or performances, people expect a premium experience—they want to be wowed, moved, and inspired, feeling that they’ve gotten their money’s worth.

To justify a high price tag, your work needs to be exceptional. This means we need to focus on quality over quantity with high-ticket performances.

This means if you don’t think you’re ready to host a high-ticket event, don’t do it unless you know you have the capacity to plan it.

When Will You Choose Quality Over Quantity?: Subscribe to My YouTube For More Creative Lifestyle Content!

I hope this little break-down helps you understand quality over quantity a little more in your craft. There’s a time and a place for both.

Ultimately, finding what works best for you involves experimenting with different approaches to create your best work while feeling productive and fulfilled.

Overall, take the time to be intentional about your choices, and know that you’re doing the right thing for your own individual (imperfect) artistic business! You are in control of your creative journey, so go out there and create something amazing.

If you love creative lifestyle content, subscribe to my YouTube channel! I’d love to see you around. 

Creative Career

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quality over quantity: when creatives should (and shouldn’t) follow it

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