“The more elaborate our means of communication, the less we communicate.”
– Joseph Priestley
We’ve already talked about leading by example but two things happened during last week that made me reflect on how important it really is.
I was discussing education with my sister and mentioned how language is a barrier for us to use math in a more efficient way. I explained about what a different relationship for example the Chinese have with numbers.
Their language and education is set up for a more efficient way to process numbers.
As I was explaining this she got more curious and asked me to show her how it’s done. I told her I wasn’t all that interested in math per se but the principles fascinated me.
Afterwards I thought that maybe I should just get the basics down so that I could give a more tangible example and maybe get people curious enough to continue learning on their own.
Another example came when I was asked about a video game called “Dark Souls 2”. I talked about it because, once again, I was intensely fascinated by the design and their ability to suck the players into their world.
After we’d talked for a while the guy said: “Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve played it but how…”
I interrupted and said: “Oh, I haven’t played it. I’ve just researched and analyzed it.”
He wanted to get more specific and pick my brain. While it was informative he wanted get some real meat rather than just talk design principles and gameplay.
This got me thinking about a comic book writer and artist that I admire called Larry Hama.
Growing up and reading his work I always thought of him as some kind of master of his art. However, when I read and saw interviews with him he was really candid about his battles with self-doubt and procrastination.
In some weird way it gave me hope that maybe I too could do something worthwhile in the medium.
As I’ve mentioned earlier I’m working on a comic book character called “Lady Six”. I began learning how to draw and quite quickly realized that I wouldn’t be able to produce work of the quality I felt it deserved.
I found someone to help me create concept art so that I could focus on developing the character and stories.
However, I decided to try my hand at drawing 3 frames of action so that I’d have the idea down.
The weird thing was that while it was crude it might get the point across. If I show it to the artist she might just be able to create a beautiful interpretation of it.
And this is my point. We can learn just enough to get by and communicate & show our ideas. If we want to prove the value of them we need to build a “minimum viable product” or “proof of concept”.
While our ideas might still have tremendous value people are naturally skeptical. They’ll believe it when they see it.
The question we need to ask ourselves is “How much time and effort am I willing to put into this?”
If the answer is that we don’t and simply want to talk about it then we can’t expect people to embrace it.
So, now I’ve just got to put “Math” on my schedule so that I can explain and show the true value of thinking about math visually & kinesthetically.
Hell, if I could learn to draw well enough to get my ideas across in just over 30 hours of practice then it might be worth the investment.
Do you have any examples of things you know but haven’t developed the skills to show? How long do you think would it take to get to the point where you can create something “good enough”?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!