Sunday, April 22, 2007

Quantity or Quality

After my recent post below (OK is not enough) you might think I would favor quality. And while I certainly respect and strive for quality, I also think it is important to produce sufficient quantity. This has been my focus/obsession lately, making enough inventory to present at my first art fair of the season. No matter how much I try, it seems I never manage to work too far ahead as I tend to be slightly "last minute" with my process. I have convinced myself it is better to be this way since it means I have fresh work for each show, newly made things that I feel passionate about.

But I digress.

There is apparently a book called The Seven Secrets of How to Think like a Rocket Scientist. I haven't read the book, but I saw an article that referenced it. The author, James Longuski, talks about a group of art students who are asked to make clay pots. Half of the class is told to make as many as they can during the semester while the other half is asked to focus on creating one great pot.

Oddly, in some perversion of the expected result, the research indicated that the group working on quantity actually produced the best work.

It sort of defies logic. I am guessing it is because the ones working on quality probably over-thought their project to the point of paralysis. I have been there, done that. The students working on quantity (this is just my speculation) probably disengaged their brain to some extent and ended up getting into a zone. Plus, in their angst to achieve the most quantity, they probably made mistakes. I have found that the mistake process often leads me on a journey of experimentation that is rather exciting.

The bottom line is I don't know what happened here, but it's an interesting thought, this quantity vs. quality discussion. Something to think about.


  1. Ummm... a very dear friend once told me that it's okay not to have quantity. You can just hang the work you do have a little further apart. Good advice, I thought.... (grin) Hugs, Shari

  2. I think I need that book, though I think we are already rocket scientists dear. Look at who is running our country, our government, our school. And from personal experience, they are NOT anything NEAR rocket scientists............ lol pootie


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