Thursday, May 24, 2012

Be wrong as fast as you can!

John Lassiter (the creative director at PIXAR) was on Charlie Rose a while back. What a lovely man! He's passionate about what he does, he speaks intelligently about it, he has created some of the most wonderful entertainment we know. But above all he seemed very wise.

One thing he explained was that it takes four years to create one of their films. And because it is such a long and expensive process, they do the editing before the "filming." Unlike live action films (in which things can be fixed in the editing room), animation needs to be fixed before all those very expensive and time-consuming drawings are done.

So a guiding principle at PIXAR is "Be wrong as fast as you can!" They know, as all creative people do, that mistakes are an inevitable part of the process. There is no guiding principle to not make mistakes: just get them over with as fast as you can please!

We could certainly translate what he says to knitting. As far as things like this go, knitting is expensive and does require lots of time and patience. So how do we take this wisdom and apply it?

I hear knitters say they are afraid of one thing or another--and it's usually about mistakes that would waste time or yarn. But, in fact, there is no such thing as waste. Those "mistakes" have to happen. We need to make them so we can learn from them and move on . . . better for the experience.

Maya Angelou said "You did what you could until you knew better, and when you knew better you did better." So sometimes we can't know a thing and have to mess up before we learn to do better. The best we can hope for is to hurry the process.

But because so many of us are afraid of our mistakes, we follow the pattern. (The shop LOOPS, in Tulsa, has a knitting bag that reads I will follow the pattern through the gates of hell!!! We can only hope they were being facetious?!) And when we follow patterns, we create some of the difficulties I wrote about in my previous post.

The thing is to look at our work critically (as John Lassiter might advise), to understand that we know this isn't right, then to learn from it and move forward.

Besides, fear and knitting are not two words I think should occur in the same sentence!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sally, You have no idea how timely and apropos this post is for me. Thank you for putting it up. And while I'm at it thank you for that Weekend Sweater in The Purl Stitch.