This week, perspective.
A new week, indeed a new year. Hello again, reader.
Uncertainty plagues all meaningful pursuits; if we are to do our best work in the face of uncertainty, perhaps we must first hone virtues that allow us to stay the creative path. So in these notes I reflect on various themes. This week, perspective.
Paired with Andrea Grützner's photography over on the (rather abstract) blog But Does It Float, one might more intuitively make sense of artist David Hockney's observation: "The camera sees everything at once. We don't." More here.
I've found that we often feel a strange pressure to see all angles at once, to do creative work that can refute any possible criticism. Indeed this is why many things lack meaningful perspective—it requires knowing that many critics from many angles are going to be both smart and correct, but one's own perspective matters simply because it's yours. Perhaps Jony Ive is a rather obvious choice here, but his note here always sticks in my head anyway: “I think now more than ever it’s important to be clear, to be singular,” he says, “and to have a perspective, one you didn’t generate as the result of doing a lot of focus groups.”
It's worth noting that a unique perspective still requires work—it is anything but a default. This essay Learning To Seeis one of the best manuals on how to do that work I've come across—beginning too with how our human minds are unlike a camera, following with how one can use this knowledge to develop "trained taste, or what German speakers call Fingerspitzengefühl (literally, 'finger-tip-feeling')." It's perhaps a daunting read but I think that even if skimmed you'll appreciate all the beautiful details.
As part of my own practice in developing new ways of seeing the world, each Composure scarf is made and worn to reflect on the stories of people in my life with perspectives worth embodying. Scarves and stories at alwayscomposure.com.
With shared vision,