Simon Griffee

Certainty is the Closing of the Mind ➶

20 March 2016

Milton Glaser:

One must assume that failure is the way we learn in general. My favorite notion is that certainty is the closing of the mind. The possibility to fail is one of the means by which we have to develop ideas, and to explore possibilities. Once you’re certain of what you’re doing the possibility of change and exploration begins to diminish. So, the idea of being an amateur constantly is an old idea for artists, particularly those who want to continue learning things they don’t already know. The idea of professionalism, which means you achieve a certain kind of success by repeating things over and over until you lose interest in them, is something that has always been frightening. What you see is people who attain a certain proficiency and then repeat that until they lose interest and the game is over.

I guess my model for this is Picasso. He was willing to give up everything once he learned how to do that. It’s always interested me that you can become proficient and once that happens the best thing to do is abandon what you know.

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