Removing Chaos, Releasing a Vision

Removing Chaos, Releasing a Vision

Michelangelo famously described the sculpting process like this: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry described the writing process this way: “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

What a fascinating resonance between these artists working in completely different media – marble and words – hundreds of years apart. The idea is that the thing is already there. The work already exists, and the artist’s job is to pull away the chaos until the thing comes into focus.

But what about the fact that so many other careers ideally follow a similar pattern?

  • Architects
  • Chefs
  • Childcare professionals
  • Cops
  • Doctors
  • Farmers
  • Garbage collectors
  • Homemakers
  • Investors
  • Landscapers
  • Lawyers
  • Manufacturers
  • Politicians
  • Professors
  • Wine makers

Bringing clarity to chaos. The pattern repeats across numerous domains:

  1. Take a raw medium (chaos/world).
  2. Envision the Ideal (other world).
  3. Seek to refine the medium until it resonates with the Ideal.

It makes you ask: “What’s the big deal about art?”

Or, if you’re in a different mood, perhaps it makes you ask: “Aren’t we all artists in our way?”


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