Progressive Disclosures: Small steps to the peak

Dear Artist Kid,

Once I was on a binge spree watching authors discuss their past works on YouTube and discussing the importance of formatting the work while writing. The simple 20-second setup before starting instantly transform mere words to a professional standard. The double-spaced paragraphs, 12-point fonts and a tab at the beginning every paragraph make for higher readability. Formatting adds breathing space between lines and subliminally asks readers to ease up, while they consume the words visually and adds ease to print. A page with 600 words is too much to absorb, so double space them, add a tab to paragraphs as a cue till the next milestone in the marathon. We invariably see the effort required to consume and formatting makes it easy to flip a page. Flipping a page is a sense of achievement, we are programmed to respond gaily since our school days.

Minimalism is another important arsenal when embarking on a creative journey. When we start to paint there is an urge to get the best of brushes, palette, canvas, and easel. We know ‘how to use’ them but haven’t used it yet. Sure, it is good to have supplies ready when the muse comes knocking for supper but, this excess of the supplies invites us to try everything on every canvas. This overwhelms the artist and the art itself. It is necessary to treat your artist constantly but in a transactional format. Completion of a project with the available tool can be rewarded with the next tool your artist requested. This will be helpful in two ways. You know completing this project will grant you something by the end and act as a motivation to finish. In my experience, there is more art left unfinished and unconcluded then the ones that received a finishing signature. They get abandoned at different stages for different reasons mostly because of lack of motivation and absence of governance. Secondly, minimalism gives us the license to fail, a must-have permit for any developing artist. The minimum investment and selected tools give more creative liberties to experiment with the techniques and reduces the cost of failure. After all, art demands absorption for recreation.  

Artistry is as much a skill as it is imagination, and the lack of tools will pave the way to discovery and innovation. So, next time you yearn for a goodie, earn it. Show me by your actions and not mere words.


An Artist Parent.