It’s easy to get tangled up inside a painting while creating it. To lose perspective and overdo until the power of the expression is dulled or killed. When I was in my teens, I discovered a way to tell if a painting or drawing worked or not, it if were finished or not.
I hold my drawings and paintings up to the mirror. If the reflection feels complete and balanced, no matter which way I hold the work to the mirror, then I joyfully abandon the painting.
Looking at a reflection in the mirror provides the necessary separation between creator and creation. Yes. When I hold my artwork up to a mirror, the painting is looking back at me! I become the artwork under scrutiny! Is this, ahem, Scrutiny Mutiny? (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
As with paintings, so with any act of creation and, specifically, business … we need mirrors—devices that reflect what’s there (rather than our perception of what is there). Equally vital is that we need a willingness to see what’s being reflected and respond to it. Scrutiny Mutiny, seeing our creation looking back at us, requires a willingness to detach from the idea enough to see with wideopeneyes. Otherwise, we are gazing through filters that distort the idea. By reflection, we can more clearly see the beauty and vibrancy of the painting, as well as areas that need work.
Sometimes, we fall into being rigid regarding innovation by becoming emotionally, intellectually, or personally attached to an idea to the point that we are wasting money and human resources, distancing ourselves from our colleagues, not listening anymore, and blocking true innovation. What mirrors will give us the truest reflection of our painting? While this question is often difficult to answer, it needs to be asked and frequently.
Scrutiny Mutiny can be a twisty adventure. It can be challenging to know what types of mirrors we need. We need mirrors that give us the cleanest, brightest and truest reflection. Is the idea or a component of the idea complete? When we hold the idea up to distorted mirrors, we end up responding to the distortion rather than to reality. There are so many different kinds of mirrors … even a lake or a puddle can give us much needed perspective. Which mirror(s) will be most useful? The right mirror(s) solves half the problem. And … willingness to see the reflection and understand what it’s telling solves the other half.
Hold your idea upside down and sideways … at an angle … at another angle. Be brave. Don’t squirm when your innovation looks back at you in all its beauty and with all its flaws. Scrutiny Mutiny.
Copyright 2013. Jennifer Ann Gordon.