Admiring (flawed) early work is easy when we already know the late work is going to be great.
Everyone forgives Picasso or Da Vinci for a lousy early sketch. In fact, people pay good money to hang one in their living room.
Maybe the early work, showing that even the greats are mere mortals on a journey towards excellence, is the most valuable?
And yet, it’s much harder to be gentle on a beginning artist for shipping mediocre creative work – not in the least for the beginning artist themselves – when their path to excellence hasn’t unfolded yet.
After all, something that one day will be “my early work” is still “my current best work” today.
The road to excellence is invisible from the trenches.
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
Which makes me wonder…
When I know that through persistence and daily practice, one day, I’ll look back on today’s creation, smiling, thinking: “Oh how far I’ve come… How much I’ve learned… And some of this was actually pretty good…”
Can I admire my creative work less for what it looks, feels, or sounds like, and more for who I’m becoming through making it?
Can I do the same for the creative projects of others?
With that mindset… How much easier and forgiving would the daily creative journey be?