Then the next week, they would discuss another philosopher who would radically argue the opposite, and the students would think, “yes! That sounds true!”The teachers would constantly contradict each other at the art academy, and I loved it! They would explain why, and each had their point, and they were each right in their way, leaving it to the student to decide which approach was best for them.
I decided that it could be fun to write these letters where I passionately argue but contradict myself from one week to the next and let you decide which viewpoint is best for you.
Because there are no rules, the best approach depends on what you are trying to achieve.
For this week, I argue that you can make things to re-use them for lots of other things and become more productive that way.
As described in the images, GaryV explains how he does that. He’ll be somewhere, one of his employees constantly filming him, and someone asks him something, and he gives a passionate reply. This video can then be turned into a YouTube video, an Instagram Reel, a TikTok, a YouTube Story, and he can lift a quote and make it a Tweet, he can distill his rant into an Instagram Carousel, turn it into a blog, re-iterate it on a Podcast or at a live stage event, publish it in a book, et cetera. He makes sure he can re-use the things he makes many times.
The book “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy” by Richard Rumelt is an excellent book on how you can design strategies to achieve your goals. In it, he describes being an engineer working on spacecrafts at NASA. He describes this in the chapter “The Parts Of A Whole.” While building these spacecrafts, the limiting factor is weight; the spacecraft needs to be as light as possible. It’s a resource constraint—much like your time is when making art. And so, they learned to build the spacecraft out of components that served more than one function. Each part of the system had to be shaped to the needs of the rest of the system. For example, I imagine a battery could be put on the outside and thus also serve as a shield against cosmic rays and such—that sort of thinking.
You can do the same with your art! Want to practice drawing? Do it on sheets of paper you can frame and hang on a wall. Sketch pages can look stunning, can’t they? Maybe you can sell them! Or publish them! Or give them to friends! Or share them on social media!
Next week I will passionately argue the opposite, I promise!
Next week, I will argue that you should try to be LESS productive.
But this week, try this on for size! See if this line of thinking leads you somewhere.
If you feel like drawing, then check out my favorite drawing exercises!
to warm up, slow down, get into the right meditative state, and improve your draftsmanship skills.
to help you improve creating underdrawings, place things in space, practice doing perspective by sight.
Practice drawing from memory to fill your visual bank, ability to memorize, ability to visualize, ability to draw what you see in your imagination and your ability to see what is wrong with your drawings.
If you find it hard to create or maintain a creative habit, you can find some habit-related tips here. Lastly, also make sure you have fun in your sketchbook after the hard practice!