Scientists VS Artists

A scientist comes up with a hypothesis, designs, and experiments to test that hypothesis. If the hypothesis turns out not to be true, it's not a failure. It's research. Then, a scientist gets back to work, adjusts the hypothesis, and designs the next experiment. Scientist don't lament the fact that things didn't turn out exactly as they hoped it would. It's part of the job. Failure is research. A scientist doesn't tell herself a story about why she's not cut out to be a scientist because her experiment failed.

Artists could learn a lot from scientists. For artists, failure becomes personal. We make permanent decisions based on temporary experiences and draw inaccurate conclusions on limited data points. We tell ourselves stories about why our work isn't good, and we'll never succeed, etc.

I've been searching for a copy editor for my new book. One who read it said that it made the feminist in her sigh and thought parts of it were politically incorrect. Will I change it based on that feedback? No. I'm not trying to write something that resonates with her. I know who this book is for, and it's not for her. At the same time, we want an objective point of view on our work. If we see things through the lens of our own emotions, we're liable to shoot the messenger.

If artists learned to approach their work as scientists, they could come up with more hypotheses, design more experiments, and ultimately make more art, make better art, and as Ashley Ambirge likes to say create something that "hits people in the face with a crowbar."


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