Asking WHY, but learning to take a step back and analyze “the big picture.” Thoughts on why it is important to remain a “kid at heart” if you’re an artist.
At the time that we are children, young and full of wonder about the world, our instinct seems to be to want to grow and be older. Growing up with a brother a couple years older than I, whom for most of the time enjoyed having me around and took care of me, it felt natural to look up to him and want to be just like him. Looking back at it now I admire how he kept a close eye on me and was there to teach me what he already knew. Since then, I have always looked to and admired most older individuals than my self, wanting to learn and know what they know from their few years more of life experience.
Looking back at my childhood now, I believe my older brother played a key role into how I developed as an individual. As a kid I wanted to be as old as him, I wanted to grow faster, know what he knew, and for the most part didn’t really pay any attention to most kids my own age. However, jumping ahead to the present, I now seem to want to stay a kid, of course not literally, but in the sense that I want to keep that drive to learn, know, and question everything. To see things in the same wonder that I had been seeing them when I was a kid. So now, in many different ways I am taking a step back, reconsidering my thoughts and continuing to ask why as much as possible.
“Why does stepping back help us move forward?...Step back and ask why, step back and reconsider”
While being able to remain a well focused individual helps in getting things done and being successful, it is important to take a step back, from time to time, and analyze where one has been, is going, and wants to be. Like the quote before implies, sometimes stepping back helps us move forward. I find myself doing this almost routinely, at the beginning and end of every day, and every week. To me it is important in the way I start to plan the vision of things that I want to accomplish for that moment in time.
In class there was a quote of the day that read :
“I was like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
As I sat there, trying to decipher what this could possible mean, I thought to think about what I have been saying. Sometimes we can become so overwhelmed by the details that are happening in the present time, so focused in what we are doing that we forget to step back for a moment in order to reassess, question or evaluate either the future or the other things that stand right before us in need of the same amount of attention.
“Why do kids ask so many questions? (And how do we really feel about that?)”
As a kid, it is extremely important to be inquisitive and ask questions. As an adult, I think it is a responsibility to want to answer as many of those questions as one possibly can. Growing up, I was greatly encouraged to ask questions. I was often told that if I never ask, then it was possible that I would never know and to me, not knowing was not an option. I have always had a drive and craving for knowledge of all kinds, and it is still alive to this day. I believe it is what drives me to stay creative, what drives my art and my work in design.
“Sometimes questioners go out looking for their Why-searching for a question they can work on and answer”
Like some of the others in my notes, this quote from Warren Berger in A More Beautiful Question poses a very powerful thought. I agree and would comment that while questioning is important, it is most important to try and ask the right questions that will yield a highly valuable answer to what it is you are trying to discover. Formulating the right question is a process that should be seen as important as getting the right answer. Berger provides this formula for what the summation or the product is of a question in relation to actions.
Q (questioning) + A (action) = I (innovation)
Q - A = P (philosophy)
Having questions and taking action is what typically leads to innovation, otherwise pondering those same questions without taking action is just philosophy. When we are young and growing we tend to be very productive doing all of these things, but tend to slow down once we become adults. As critical thinkers and artists I think it is important to remain as inquisitive and full of wonder, because I feel that as humans, we never stop growing.