Sketching yields quantity yields quality

The Art of Sketching: Strategies for Getting Started:

Edouard Manet, the French modernist painter, once gave a still-life painting lesson to another French impressionist, Eva Gonzales. His directions for capturing the moment could be taken as instruction for sketching in any creative discipline; “Get it down quickly. Don’t worry about the background. Just go for the tonal values. See?”

It’s about making music (ostensibly with Ableton), but applies to any creative endeavor. Coding, writing, whatever!

Sketching with regularity can help you let go of the pressure of perfectionism, and arrive at a place of more casual creativity. Simply start, then sift through your sketches to find the gems later. Raúl Sotomayor has found that aiming for quantity tends to result in quality ideas to build from; “I used to make a beat every morning, spending 10 minutes to an hour, and then go on with my day. That was really helpful, because at the end of a week, I’ll have seven beats and most of the time, at least one of them would be useful.”

As a creative principle, “quantity creates quality” has served me well over the past several years. You can’t create quality if you don’t have 1) a starting point and 2) freedom to throw away the lowest quality 90% of the work!

Adam Keys @therealadam