"Those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things." Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, August 26, 2007

4th Grade Art Class - Business Lessons

I remember a creative art exercise my fourth grade art teacher showed my class. It was nothing less than magic when I was exposed to this technique. I was always into creating great works of art...at least compared with my classmates...so I wanted to learn how to become even better. It was a simple exercise that allowed any average artist become an excellent sketcher.

Usually if you see a picture or an image and you want to replicate it, without being able to trace it, a less endowed artist would probably produce a horrendous rip-off. Now the process was simple, first choose a picture you want to replicate, secondly draw a rectangle around the image, third divide the rectangle into a grid of smaller rectangles. Then you would create the exact same dimension grid on your paper; if the image was divided into 20 small rectangles then your sheet of paper would have 20 small rectangles.

The next step introduced the real magic. To create an exceptionally wonderful copy of the original image all you had to do was focus on each little rectangle, and just focus on each shape and line in that little square. Every so often you would glance at the whole image just to see the progress towards the finished product.

But, gradually all you had to do was zoom in on each individual square, not thinking to much about, or worrying about the finished product...you realized that if you just focused on the small shapes and lines of each block you would eventually have an immaculate finished product, that if you followed the basic formula you would reach the desired outcome. Obviously every student, even the non artistic, was creating wonderful sketches of pictures and images. This was all well and good back then in elementary school, but what does this have to do with anything...its cool to copy a picture in art class, but who cares. Well many years later I realized what wonderful analogy this art method really provoked.

Goals, dreams, visions, and the future in general can be equated to the whole image as used in the art exercise just mentioned. After all, these are images, pictures; just the same as in the creative picture replication exercise. The mind's capacity to visualize is an unbelievable resource; i would suggest that it is largely misused, underdeveloped in most of us. Even in individuals with a high level of visual awareness still a largely unexplored arena.

From the realm of engineering it is common knowledge that a visual transmission conveys 1000 times more information than an audio transmission (video has a higher carrier frequency).

So keep this cool little art exercise in mind and use it as an analogy for your compelling future. Break up the picture into pieces, don't worry about the whole thing; just work on the little pieces focus on what you can influence. You'll eventually have your masterpiece complete.

Angel Armendariz

1 comment:

MichelleVan said...

I just love this post! I agree - especially when starting a business you've got to really focus on getting some steps done - one step at a time so you don't go into overwhelm. Nice analogy!

"We are all in Sales. Period." - Tom Peters