Art of Message

Art of Message – June 15, 2023

The business course with naked people

The course where I learned the most about business was a studio drawing class in the Arts and Architecture department of my university.

In the first lesson, we set down our pencils, folded our arms for 10 minutes, and looked at – wait for it – a small white styrofoam cube.

There was a smaller white styrofoam sphere perched on top of it. And on closer inspection a small triangular-shaped object behind it. After a while, I saw that the cube had a faint zig-zag pattern in its surface. I also noticed that the sphere had a seam and that there was a slight notch in it just above where it met the surface of the cube.

And so on – the details were always there but seeing them was work.

Later when we began to draw live models, it was the same effect times 1000, because if the goal is to represent what you see faithfully, trying your best no matter how badly you inevitably failed, then you needed more. More detail to improve your capture. And there’s always more. A chair, a floor, a wall, a window, a horizon..

Thus, ultra high-resolution giga-pixel photos, such as Hubble photos of space, offer less to see than the typical room in the typical house.

It’s the same effect as a discovery interview – you’re trying to paint a picture. The more detail you want, the more you try to capture, the more questions you ask, the more cues you observe.

It’s easy to apply this to consulting but it applies to any business owner trying to capture a portrait of the buyer in some moment in space and time, such as when they’re auto-filling a payment form with credit card details from a password manager.

There’s always more to see.


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