Thursday, November 10, 2005

Perfection

Joe Merideth's comment about going with one's "gut feeling" is something he, B.J. Crawford, and I have discussed at lunch many a time. My "gut feeling", was to hunt this down... in hopes it would relate. Thanks j-dog :)

"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of worked they produced, all those on the right solely on the quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B", and so on. Those being graded on "quality", however, needed to produced only one pot- albeit a perfect one - to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busily churning out piles of work - and learning from their mistakes - the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."

"If you think good work is somehow synonymous with perfect work, you are headed for big trouble. Art is human; error is human; ergo, art is error. Inevitably, your work (like, uh, the preceding syllogism...) will be flawed. Why? Because you're a human being, and only human beings, warts and all, make art. Without warts it is not clear what you would be, but clearly you wouldn't be one of us."

David Bayles and Ted Orland, pg. 29 Art & Fear


With that said, I'm going to issue a wee-challenge (or an "idea", if you prefer) to my blog buds on Friday.... :)

Also, I need to do some major link-age updates this weekend to spread the diddle love......

4 comments:

beej said...

That story helps a lot, D.

Seems that I've been theorizing a lot myself lately.

Thanks!

Jav said...

Jeez D,
Thanks a lot for that!
Dan actually gave me a copy of that book, and I havent gotten around to it (like everything else)
I have heard that one though.
I myself get sooo caught up in theorizing and contemplating that it often affects my actual production.
Gotta just kick out the jamz!
Excellent post!
Inspiring!

Terrie S. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrie S. said...

This is so true. Sure, I'm three years late on finding this blog, but nevertheless it is still relevant. I will give it a shot...just let go and create as many doodles as I can and learn from the mistakes.