Dec 2011 07

In ancient Japan, the Japanese feudal lords had these codes of conduct, each of which was called a “kaho”. An interesting excerpt from a 15th-century kaho:

“He (the samurai) must not become addicted to swords and weapons whose reputation precedes them. Even if the samurai has a sword that is worth one thousand coins, it will not overcome one hundred warriors bearing spears, each of which is worth ten coins. Therefore it is preferable for him to purchase (for the cost of the sword) one hundred spears, and equip one hundred warriors with spears, and thus he can head a division of warriors.”

I think this sentiment applies to creative endeavors, too. Don’t worry about expensive paints, overpriced markers, high-end art supplies, or that pricey software plugin that’s all the rage right now. It’s the same with time, too. Don’t wait around for that one brilliant shining moment of pure inspiration.

Buy cheap paint. Cheap markers. Cheap paper. Use whatever is around. Cheap notebooks. Don’t get caught up in the fake “artistic” rush of buying the “correct” art supplies. Don’t worry about having the fastest computer or the most up-to-date software. Use whatever works. Don’t wait for inspiration, just start making. Make a hundred drawings, and even if eighty are terrible, you’ve still got twenty good drawings. Make, make, make, and make again.

Then, when the time comes to wage your war, you won’t be left standing with just that one beautiful sword. You’ve got an armory of sketches, poems, scribblings, half-fleshed-out ideas, 5-second animations, and experimental photos, and you’ll be ready.

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