Anyone who watches cooking shows will appreciate the artistry that goes into creating dishes that look beautiful and taste delicious too. I enjoy such programs, and although the tools may be different, I believe a visual artist can learn a lot by getting into the mindset of a good chef.
A good chef is curious. They embrace new ingredients and love to experiment. A good chef shares their knowledge and celebrates the success of others. They always have an open mind and can adapt to changing circumstances. The chef’s acclaimed signature dish is never a masterpiece straight out of the gate, but the result of many failed attempts. With each failure, they learn where they need to fine tune the recipe, and they don’t quit until it has been perfected. Their biggest fear is making boring food, and they reach deep in order to delight their audience.
On the other hand, a bad chef will enter the kitchen with a closed mind and reject anything outside their wheelhouse. Lifelong learning is not part of their vocabulary. They were taught a step by step formula, and are not motivated to grow beyond those boundaries. They hoarde information and want the spotlight all for themselves. The bad chef has settled for mediocrity, and if they don’t take pride or care about the food they make, why should anybody else?
1. Stay curious
2. Keep an open mind
3. Experiment and try new things
4. Adapt to your situation
5. Cheer on others
6. Share what you know
7. Fail often
8. Learn from your mistakes
9. Don’t make boring art (or soup)
Regardless of what type of art you make, aspire to be like the good chef. In the beginning it will be difficult, and you might feel tempted to look for shortcuts, but don’t ruin your art by going down the path of the bad chef. Striving to be your absolute best self is how you will (eventually) succeed.