“Success is the sum of details.” – Harvey S. Firestone
Hey kids! We’re talking about the details of making, well, anything!
Before we get into it, get the big picture down first! Make sure you have a direction and idea to base the details on. We good? Alright!
I was talking to a former set designer about creativity. So I asked him if he had anything he’d been wondering about. He said: “Well, i’ve always been curious about the importance of the triangle”. My first thought was: “You’re shitting me, right? A triangle?”. It felt like we were heading for a “We need more cowbell!”-conversation. He continued: “I feel like it can make or break a record. A well placed triangle. That’s the thing!”.
Then I realized what he was saying. He was being serious. It wasn’t just the triangle (even though this apparently was some fetisch of his. Not judging bro!). He was talking about the small details in any creative venture that makes all the difference.
Sometimes when we’re creating something we go for the big picture and start showing it off to everybody. This might be good to get feedback. It also goes into what we were talking about earlier with the “Trilemma”-post. When we’re creative and haven’t put on the frills it might look kind of wonky. This can turn some people off while others can kind of see where it’s headed.
The details can however become consuming. This is where we’re headed against that great asymptote called perfection again. Getting so caught up in the details can lead to the whole dang thing becoming, as the set designer said, too perfect. And things that are too perfect we tend to find kind of boring.
It doesn’t feel human in the same way. We can’t really relate to it. Things can be a little bit off and that gives them some personality. At the very least they’re actually INTERESTING!
So, if you’ve got a project coming up that’s already got a solid base (i’m all about that base!) to stand on then give the details some love baby!
“The details are not the details. They make the design.” – Charles Eames
“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” – John Wooden
“I worry about technical details – did I mix the cello half a decibel too high? Things like that.” – Steven Price
“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris