No Secrets to Success

by Kathleen Huebener in Quote for the Day
“There are no secrets to success.
It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

Gen. Colin L Powell


This can also pertain to creating art. On one end of the prep scale, there is no preparation. That reminds me an old abstract artist friend, who passed away last year. Joe always said the best paintings were the ones that were painted fast. “Don’t think about it, just feel it!” he’d say. He would slop paint on the canvas, then use brushes or palette knives to create a conglomeration he called art. Sometimes it worked; often, it didn’t.


The opposite end of the scale is too much prep. In reality, it is fear that keeps an artist at this end of the scale. Afraid to try, afraid to mess up, afraid of not knowing what to do to next; fear does not create art, but it creates an entrapment with a façade of excessive preparation. 


The desired portion on the prep scale is where a good balance of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure exists. Great quote, great art advice! Now all we artists have to do is to implement it.