Just the Right Touch
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” – Mother Teresa
Sometimes, I find myself looking for just the right font, the right sound, the right way of saying something, or the just the right quote to drive home a point. It probably seems like I am wasting time, looking for something just right when I could settle easily. It may even look like I’m goofing off, trying font after font for the exact impact I need. Or I try synth patch after synth patch for just the musical effect I’m looking for.
If you’re an artist, it could be just the right color, or brush. For dancers it’s trying move after move, take after take to get it just right. For writers, it’s second draft, third draft, and endless revisions. Searching for just the right synonym to say exactly what you want to say…
me·tic·u·lous: adjective 1. showing great attention to detail; very careful and precise.
“Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.” – Mark Caine
Being meticulous can kind of make you look like a genius. Everyone sees the detail and the planning and thinks, “wow, he just made this up on the fly.” But you know it took a lot more work than that. It took study, and forethought, and deciding which color, which word, which instrument, to use.
pains·tak·ing: adjective 1. done with or employing great care and thoroughness.
I think creative people care to make sure they get it right. They care about little things that no one else would. A note, a rest, a sound, a line, a rhyme. These are the things we obsess over, and the things that end up making us stand out as artists.
punc·til·i·ous: adjective 1. showing great attention to detail or correct behavior.
Oh yeah, I totally searched and found this word. Something we don’t usually hear. In fact using this word illustrates my point exactly. I could have just gone with the first two, but I kept looking for a word that no one hears very much. Maybe it can be your word of the day! Stump your friends!
per·snick·et·y: adjective 1. placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details; fussy.
Yeah, it can get tedious too, so you have to be careful. Actually, this is probably a problem that can get us creatives in trouble, when we spend too much time trying to get it just right. We can actually overindulge ourselves and run the risk of disconnecting our audience, or even never finishing because we keep worrying about small things people never see.
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
The most important thing is to never feel guilty for taking your time to get the little things just right. It’s what makes the difference between great artistic work, and just stuff thrown together.
Have a great week Creatives!
Eric Copeland is a composer, arranger, producer, author, and other stuff that requires lots of teeny tiny decisions every day. And yes, he spent lots of time looking for just the right quotes, picture, and other minor details for this blog post.
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