#85 50 Pounds = A

How to Master the Fear of Art

Imagine this: It’s your first day of art class. You signed up for an intro class on pottery. (Nice! Go you!)

The teacher does something a little weird.

He points to one half of the class and says, “On the last day of class I’m going to bring in a bathroom scale. You guys will get an ‘A’ if you produce 50 pounds of pots. A ‘B’ for 40 pounds. 30 pounds gets you a ‘C.’”

Then he points to the other half of the class and says, “You guys? You’ll get an ‘A’ for creating an amazing pot. I just need one pot from you. Make it awesome and you get the ‘A.’”

Fast-forward to the end of the semester and who do you think created the best-looking pots?

Answer: The group that produced the 50 pounds of stuff to get an “A.”

Why is that?

Well, as the authors of Art & Fear put it: “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.”

So, question: How do YOU approach your creativity?

Are you trying to create the “perfect pot”? Or, are you willing to lean in and produce a TON of stuff—learning from your mistakes and, eventually, getting better and better?

Today’s +1: Go create a bunch of pots.

Remember: 50 pounds and you’ll get an “A.”

P.S. Maslow comes to mind. He tells us: “It seems that the necessary thing to do is not to fear mistakes, to plunge in, to do the best that one can, hoping to learn enough from blunders to correct them eventually.”

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