Art Muscle

Have you ever signed up for a gym only to realize 3 months later that the fact that you've just visited it 4 times should be reason enough to quit? Yes, you have. We all have. It hurts to confront your ideal picture of yourself with the limitations of your willpower. Well, there's a very similar behaviour in our relationship with technology that's worth talking about.

Have you ever purchased a 700$ full-featured camera only to realize 3 months later that you'd rather take some shots with your phone instead? What the hell are all those buttons for anyway? The ever improving specs of our tech, fueled by the stiff competition in a world that insists of self-imposing needs to consume the newest alternative, is creating a gap. The gap between what our tools can deliver and what our skills can pull out of them. This gap grows following Moore's law as our tech moves exponentially away from our stuck skills. Still, we keep on purchasing because all those gadgets carry the promise of a better self, just like the gym does. A version in which we devote our time and passion to a creative endeavour only to find our true talents surface from the hidden depths of our soul, buried under layers of alienating 9-to-5 workhours. It does not happen. But it should. And while you can forgive yourself for not hitting that gym because in the end it's just an exhibitionist gathering of clearly troubled freaks, there is no redemption for not committing to develop your creative skills.

The world is running out of the currency of our century: attention. Overexposure, overstimulation and the effective use of our psyche's limitations by evil marketeers have created a scarcity of attention, and nothing is going to change that now. No Central Bank is coining any more of this currency to prevent inflation, and its value is already at top levels. In such a world, it is my opinion that art will be the differentiating element to grab such a cherished asset. Our children will not get the attention of their bosses, nor the attention of their clients, nor the attention of their audience without strong competence on skills like storytelling, illustration, design, music, photography, acting, ... The combination of art plus solid technical foundation will be drivers of attention, and attention is going to drive success in the future more than it ever has. Being efficient and being effective is simply not enough already, now your work needs to have a soul. Without a soul, yours is just one in a billion. And a soul needs a voice and that voice is your art. We all need to develop our voice.

Bad news is: this is more difficult. Good news is: this is more fun. Also good news is: you already have the tools. They're right in front of you. You've been purchasing them for years. Put them to good use now.

Have a great weekend and see you next week.

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