What 3 lessons can we learn from Picasso? Still considered one of the great artists of modern history? With an incredibly prolific output right until his death at 91 years, he worked in a vast array of mediums including painting, sculpture, etchings, ceramics and more. You might not be totally enamoured with his style of art, and even today I hear people react to his fragmented portraits with dislike or ‘not getting it’. I still find his work exciting and inspiring because it is so much an expression of the person he was inside. A great bio is on the The Art Story website if you want to learn more about him.
His approach to his art is still relevant for anyone who is creative or trying to do something artistic today.
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
1. This quote really drives home a basic lesson we should incorporate into our art. It’s not about doing only what you’re good at, because you won’t learn anything. Instead when you do something new that might be a struggle in the beginning, ultimately persistence you will develop that skill.
Good artists copy; great artists steal.
2. This straight forward idea might have been controversial at the time. Perhaps it had previously never been verbalised by an artist. And in this context we’re not talking about plagiarism, instead it’s about looking at other artists, music, movies, culture and using the things that inspire you into your own work. The book Steal Like an Artist is based on this very principle. (A great read by the way).
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.
3. This is a great observation and it’s a reminder to all of us about growing up and becoming rational adults. If you have ever watched children paint or draw you will get a glimpse of what it is to be totally ‘present’ in your art. Children have an innate ability to be in the moment and simply follow their curiosity as they create. Something we should always try to nurture when being creative. I find this last one very important to how I work and talk about how to develop it in my book Creative Reboot.