Step Back

Leonardo Da Vinci said this: is good to retire to a distance because the work looks smaller and your eye takes in more of it at a glance and sees more easily the lack of harmony and proportion in the limbs and colours of the objects.
(Leonardo da Vinci, Notebooks)

It's good to step back and view your creation from a distance, and it's especially easy if you're creating in the visual arts. You can reduce the size of the photo on your computer or you can physically step back from a painting. I do this often when I'm working on a photograph (CTRL/-, in Photoshop). It helps to see the "whole" and not just the magnified parts.

I have also done this with other creative works, most recently a theater script that my wife and I wrote. As I thought about how to maximize our rehearsals. I decided to look at the relative length of each scene and plot that on a histogram. This not only let me see the flow of the play, but also let me plan each rehearsal so we covered all of the scenes by dress rehearsals. It looks like this:

So remember to step back and get perspective as you create.


We took a mini-vacation this week and stopped at Hot Rod City in New Philadelphia, OH. It's part museum, part restaurant, part gift shop and part ice cream parlor.