Unlocking your creative side can be a bit difficult but, we are here to inspire you. Since focus and creativity are slowly but surely displacing hard work and sacrifice on the nine-to-five plus overtime battlefield, we took time to study one of the greatest artists in history. His genius is monumental and that got us thinking he must have done something right, isn’t it?
MONA LISA BY LEONARDO DA VINCI
Leonardo da Vinci was a genius, one of the few people in history who indisputably deserved that appellation. Da Vinci created what is considered an archetypal masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance “The Monalisa”. This magnificent work of art has been dubbed “the world’s greatest known, most visited, most written about, most sung about, and most parodied work of art.”
We’d very much like to sit here with you and talk about his genius of the Monalisa but why don’t we explore something deeper? Leonardo had the skill and great ideas, but he also had something else: the ability to look at the world around him from a different gaze.
What Are Some Of The Most Valuable Takeaways?…
Have a childlike sense of wonder
Be relentlessly curious. Da Vinci wanted to know what causes people to yawn, how they walk on ice in Flanders, what makes the aortic valve close, how light is processed in the eye, and what that means for the perspective in a painting. Having that childlike sense of wonder about everything around us is how we birth great ideas.
One of his greatest skills was his acute ability to observe things. When he visited the moats surrounding Sforza Castle, he looked at the four-wing dragonflies and noticed how the wing pairs alternate in motion. When he walked around town, he observed how facial expressions of different people related to their emotions, and he discerned how light bounces off different surfaces. Do you take time to just sit and observe?
First, Carry A Notebook, Pay Close Attention To Every Detail
In his notebook, Leonardo shared a trick for observing something carefully: Do it in steps, starting with each detail. “If you wish to have a sound knowledge of the forms of objects, begin with the details of them, and do not go on to the second step until you have the first well fixed in memory.”
Have A Free-Range Mind
Leonardo had a free-range mind that merrily wandered across all the disciplines of the arts, sciences, engineering, and humanities. He knew that art was a science and that science was an art. His knowledge of how light strikes the retina helped inform the perspective in The Last Supper, and on a page of anatomical drawings depicting the dissection of lips, he drew the smile that would reappear in the Mona Lisa.
Da Vinci’s basis of the study was simple observation and notes/questions on his observations. He withheld judgments, either positive or negative, for as long as possible. Particularly his own. He appreciated that judgment would be a block to creativity and new ideas.