As creative professionals, fundamentally this is what we’re being paid to do. Informed, skilled Pickiness is our job.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Or put another way, experience doesn’t improve the quality of your work. The only way to develop talent is to keep pushing yourself to grow.
Not convinced that experience along makes no difference? Just look at the number of people with 25 years of experience in (name your chosen field), who haven’t grown in any significant way, and who are being eclipsed by newcomers. Not all newcomers, but it seems that the percentage of newcomers producing great work (say, 10%) is about the same as the number of people with 25 years experience producing great work.
This isn’t to say that it doesn’t take time and perseverance to develop talent. Just that repeatedly the same thing over and over doesn’t help.
We probably all know this at some level, but it’s a useful reminder: Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
|—||Vincent Versace, via The Candid Frame podcast.|
Thorsten Overgaard in Every artist was first an amateur.
What Thorsten says certainly applies to Photography, but also to many creative endeavors. It applies to design for sure, but also I would think to writing, visual arts, theatre, music, you name it. You works for years to become adept at your craft – to be able to consistently produce results at a professional level. But there is always the question: Is this really good? How do I keep growing from here?
It’s easy enough to just ape what others are doing, or to repeat what you’ve done before. But that’s not enough. Real growth, and real worthwhile work, comes when you can see something from a slightly different perspective, when you’re able to offer something new, refreshing.
Be pleased by your work, but never satisfied. You need to be pleased at times: you need to be able to see when you’ve done something good to be able to grow from there. But if you’re satisfied, you stop growing. And as we all know the opposite of growth is death.