Even if it doesn’t save the world…

In 1928 Sir Alexander Fleming was working in his lab on a cure for influenza. After a two-week holiday he returned to his lab and found mold growing in a petri dish containing staphylococcus. He realized that the mold was inhibiting the growth of the bacteria. Penicillin was born.

We don’t often make discoveries in our studios that impact the world quite in the same way as penicillin. But that element of unexpected surprise may not be as rare as we might think.

Last week I discussed my relationship with ‘Easy Street’ enough to point out that the creative struggle is real. For artists to achieve progress a certain amount of blood, sweat and tears must flow.

Once a level of familiarity or proficiency is acquired, we often are lucky enough to enter into a well-deserved plateau. If we are wise stewards of our practice, we will create as much work as possible in this new place.

At some point, we will reach a degree of exhaustion and probably just have to stop. Oft times, while sitting in contemplation we realize that (often to our own surprise!) we have taken our work to a new level…a rather similar experience to that of our Sir Alexander Fleming.

The takeaway? Working within the confines of a pretty tight series, it is likely that good things can and will happen after yielding to a necessary amount of repetition.


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