Quality & Zen
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance…and Quality
A while back (February 27th, 2008 at 3:20 am) I wrote a post on here about quality and it has since generated a lot of emails and response. I’ve now updated it as a blog-page below:
As an artist, my mind is usually wide awake and full of ideas at the point most people are sound asleep. Tonight (or rather ‘this morning’) is no different, and the subject is Quality. I find that writing my ideas down helps my mind settle and go to sleep. Since I now have a blog, I’m writing it here….
I finished re-reading one of my favorite books tonight, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – and no, it’s not about motorcylce maintenance. Instead it is a internal journey to understand Quality and Truth, and uses a motorcycle roadtrip across America as an analogy.
I initially began re-reading it, excited for spring and planning a motorcylce roadtrip of my own as soon as the weather permits. I love the book, not just for the thought processes, but because it reminds me of all the thinking I do on a motorcycle roadtrip — just driving for hours, thinking to myself.
But tonight having finished the book again, I’m up, and my mind is thinking about Quality!
I’ve been thinking of all the decisions I’ve made in my business as an artist throughout the years, getting me to where I am now – all based on Quality.
I refuse to sub any of my Quality work out to someone else. I realize that I could make more money by taking on more jobs and letting Quality slide a little. But instead I take on fewer but nicer jobs, and fill my days working on every aspect of them, making sure that everything is perfect for my clients. I realize this takes more time, but I want these pieces I create, to be the most cherished heirlooms a family has.
So hopefully you all realize that it’s not just you in my photographs, but a part of me too. At some point, we will all pass, and future generations will hopefully inherit these portraits. It is the workmanship and Quality that will make these last, making it possible for descendants to appreciate these portraits.
In our “microwave” generation, anyone can create a “picture” of someone and do it fast. My goal constantly is to create a portrait that cannot be created by anyone else, an image that prefectly captures an inner emotion or story of a loved one, and do it in a way that is a work of art, from how it is lit and composed to how it is finished in it’s final form.
I know from the “‘Thank You’s” I get from my clients, that this is exaclty what they love about my work. Hopefully if you are new to me and just checking out my website, that you will see that too.
And what is good, Phaedrus,
And what is not good –
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?
– Robert Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
Well that’s it for tonight. My thougts are down and I’m finally getting tired. Tomorrow I’ll be back to my regular ‘blog-like’ mindless chatter.
Until next time America…