Work Before Inspiration

In his essay “Paint and Blood,” songwriter Tom Russell writes, “Picasso said the muses will descend, but they must find you working.”

Work before inspiration. In that order, we can create our own muse.

Enter process. Process is the means by which scary ideas lose their intimidation. Process is about dividing a project into manageable chunks. “If the process is sound,” says writer and editor William Zinsser, “the product will take care of itself.”

Every project is different, but it has to have a tangible starting place. Sometimes that’s a sketch on paper, sometimes the exploration begins on the computer. The point is to get started. The water may be cold, but acclimation comes through assimilation. We like to dive in.

Through the process of work and elimination a form takes shape and along the way something happens; call it a spark. That’s the inspiration or the muse and because we will have put in the work we’ll know what to do when it strikes. Work before inspiration.

More times than not, the end result is vastly different than the original idea. But the product is also better and the path to that end is work. So yeah, we’re big on work.

This is the first in a series of brief posts we plan to publish about some of the things we believe. The intent is to eventually use these as a manifesto of sorts.