Thanks Aerosmith for cementing this idea in my head at an early stage. I was reminded of this on a few occasions this week, and when this happens, I know it’s a lesson I need to be taking heed of.
Andy J Pizza spoke about it on his latest Creative Pep Talk podcast, specifically talking about what to do when your growth stagnates. He says that the work you did to get your first amount of followers, won’t be the same work that gets you the next level. Or, the work involved to grow a company to 100 people won’t be the same involved in growing it to a 1000.
You often see evidence of this in business where the initial founder and entrepreneur gets pushed out of their own successful company by the board, who believe they don’t have what it takes to push it further. (ie: Elon Musk; the Twitter founder (who’s name escapes me); Jo Malone; the founder of Aden and Anais).
I’m also finding it in a more trivial way: trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. I can’t seem to get past the “one side + T on all the others” stage. I know that I’m going to have to formulate a different plan if I want to make headway on that. What got me this far, is not going to help solve all of it.
So, how is this relevant? Well recently I’ve been wracking my brains to work out how I can translate the smaller detailed paintings I do on watercolour paper up to larger sizes on canvas. And no matter how many times I attempt it, it just isn’t getting the right feeling.
Painting on canvas is very different to paper, in that the paper soaks a lot of the paint away and creates lovely texture. What you can do with one swoosh of a paintbrush on paper with a small brush is a mammoth effort on a big canvas.
As someone once said (I’m doing well with remembering names today! I think it was artist Alice Sheridan), why do people expect to be able to paint big when they only ever practice on small paper. Practice on the big stuff!
So, with that idea in mind, I’m going to be trying to mix things up a bit in my art practice. The goal is to paint bigger but not make it a monstrous effort that keeps putting me off turning up. Keep it light, keep it bold, and stop fussing!