Pointillism (aka Stippling) Life

A recent read, “Creativity Sucks” by Phil Hansen (https://www.philinthecircle.com/), educated me on the art technique of pointillism and created a ripple of thought for me (yes, again!).

Pointillism takes tiny little dots the artist draws and through proper (or improper) placement, the artist creates an image. That’s it. Just a bunch of tiny, tiny dots grouped to show forms, highlights, and shading. Simple right? “No” is the right answer. It requires thousands and thousands of dots to come up with an image, and it really helps to have an image in mind when you start so you can discern dot placement.

Not being an artist by nature, I thought “Cool!” and continued reading. Phil then goes on to state “It was because there was such a magic, such a satisfaction, in stepping back from all those little dots to marvel at the completeness of an image made of fragments. Those little specks each contributed to something grand and powerful.”

I had picked up the book because I like the creative art derived by the mind of Phil Hansen and the title seemed intriguing. I now realized that, though the book is written for “artists” whether they are artists, writers or other creative professionals, the book really has a plethora of teaching moments, if only we read his work “creatively.”

There were “Ah-ha!” moments in previous chapters but this particular quote leapt out at me. The phrase “…marvel at the completeness of an image made of fragments…” is so in line with my thoughts over the past few years: how WE are made as complete people by the fragments, the dots, of everyday interactions, reactions and responses. And that metaphor can be more closely examined but I realized the old adage “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is basically what Phil has described…for artists.

But it applies to relationships, to who we are becoming, to home building, to story writing, to programming, to…so many things.

And what I had forgotten, other than to apply this adage, is Phil’s choice of words “to marvel.” So simple. So mind-opening. So life-giving.

To marvel…to be awed.

So, here’s to marveling at all the “parts” that make up everything. Here’s to the “little specks” that make everything so “grand and powerful.”

Thanks, Phil.

P.S. If you want to have your own “Ah-ha!” moment, pick up the book or view his “Embrace the Shake” TED talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake) .