Art is Creativity plus Subtraction

The difference between a good piece of art and a mediocre piece of art is not what you see on the canvas or screen or hear on the record; but what the artist or designer chose to left out before sharing the piece with the world.

This is subtraction.

When we try to ideate and come up with some idea to fulfill our artistic impulse or solve the problem at hand we are using our creative powers- we generate, brainstorm, use weird mind-mapping techniques and draw lots of lines and circles.

This is an unbounded process; the more, the better, because the more you have, the easier it is to remove what is clearly not working and arrive at something suitable.

But after spending your time to gather the few concepts that matter, and you need to refine them, we lose sight of the big picture and refine everything. And then what we set out to make look awesome becomes another brick in the creative wall.

The difference is always made by what you choose to let out because it doesn’t make sense for the big picture.

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