Brian Pirie
Remembering autumn

Remembering autumn

Kaleidoceiling

Kaleidoceiling

Time stops

Time stops

Details

Sweat the details. And it’s all details.

Being Picky

As creative professionals, fundamentally this is what we’re being paid to do. Informed, skilled Pickiness is our job.

The best reminder I’ve seen in a long time

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.

There’s a certain point in your career … I guess in any artform … where you can look at your work and you know what is good and bad without ego. You can look at it and go “that’s crap”, “that’s okay”, “this is really good” … There’s a point in your career when you know who you’re as good as, you know who you’re better than, and you know who is better than you. You just know it. You know it by looking at people’s work … It’s like when you act on stage, and you have an actor who is greater than you are. That actor … pulls you up, because you have to step up to the plate to be able to match that level, and when you’re done, you’re changed. You’re better for the experience and that experience echos through the rest of your career, until the next time that you get pulled up at a different level.
Vincent Versace, via The Candid Frame podcast.
"Out" on Flickr
I think what distinguish[es] the interesting photographers from the less interesting is that they keep trying new things … A professional could be said to be one who can produce a result of professional quality no matter what. I know that I can do that, but what is really interesting is if I can surpass my own expectations. Can I walk uncharted territory and make something that is different and better than what others can? Can I make not a copy of somebody else’s style, but work in their area and make it my own?

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.