“All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?”*
‘Skill development depends on how repetition is organised. As skill expands , the capacity to sustain repetition increases.’**
We are born seekers.
As we grow older, though, we tend to seek less and less. Maybe it’s because we’ve already found what we’re seeking. Maybe it’s because we’ve been disappointed by not finding what we seek, and we’ve settled on Plan B. Maybe Plan A is just too demanding.
It’s really important to remember that every human is capable of loving some creativity as though its the best thing in the world – this is our art. Yet after the exciting idea, there’s all the learning and routine and slog to go through.
Richard Sennett points out how skill can expand exponentially in open-ended practices, but not if the end pint is fixed. Then the affect is to stop people seeking. The industrial revolution did this, by taking many hand skills away from people; the smart revolution looks set set to take over people’s mental skills – when a machine can produce something faster, the repetition of skills is taken over.
This isn’t about demonising technology, but to use it smarter. I also read these two views today, and they’re more hopeful.
Chris Anderson reminds us we are all makers, and many will be able to step outside of the more traditional business places to invent, innovate, and make their art.
The other view comes from Roz and Ben Zander, who write about ‘restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility is spoken – where the buoyant force of possibility overcomes the pull of the downward spiral.’^
I’ve just been co-designing such a space with others this morning – somewhere for people to become seekers once again, the opportunity to reconnect their hands and minds to their work.
Seeking is never ending – seeking stimulates more seeking:
‘How do we continually find inspiration, so that we can inspire others?’^^
The future will increasingly find us “building” spaces that are living questions for those who enter them.
(*Banksy, quoted in Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit.)
(**From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)
(^From Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility.)
(^^From Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(Check this on work from Hugh Macleod.)