The Artisan's Way
Seven Habits of Artisans, and a sneak peak into my documentary film series.
In a world that is consumed by technology, hyper-scale, and commoditization, it is easy to rush past the beauty in craftsmanship. However, there is a unique tribe of individuals - the artisans - who weave their magic by working with their hands, driven by a desire for excellence. They reject many of the modern mantras for success like "get s*@t done", "perfection is the enemy of good enough", and "quantity over quality". I had the privilege of interacting with three of New York City's top artisans while producing a short documentary series called "Forgotten Artisans of New York".
I learned that the artisan's mindset is not confined to those labeled as craftsmen alone; it is a state of being that anyone can embrace to elevate the quality and satisfaction derived from their work. By embracing the artisan's approach, we unlock the power of deliberate practice, attention to detail, and a profound connection to the very essence of our chosen endeavors.
In today's post, I've included teasers for my short documentary series, “Forgotten Artisans of New York”, followed by Seven Habits of Artisans that we can adopt in our lives, no matter what kind of work we are engaged in.
Forgotten Artisans of New York
This short documentary series has been a passion project by me and my creative/business partner Ashok Sinha. It will be released very soon, and I'm excited to share some excerpts from each of the episodes.
Episode 1 - "Michele Glick-Guarneri"
Michele is a leather artist and only one of three women left in New York who work in this medium. Despite being one of the best in the trade, she feels that she has had to work a bit harder in order to prove herself in an industry dominated by men.
Episode 2 - "Sebastian Laws"
Sebastian inherited his clock repair shop in the heart of New York City from his immigrant father. He thinks of the clock as more than a piece of furniture - it is a tool that helps simplify the idea of time and brings order to our lives.
Episode 3 - "Eli Rios"
Eli has restored furniture in Queens, New York for the past three decades. He remembers the first time he messed up while working on a family heirloom, which made him fall in love with the art of furniture restoration.
Seven Habits of Artisans
Here are seven habits or mindsets of artisans that each one of us can adopt in our work. It would result in a richer experience for us as well as the people we serve through our work.
Mastery: Artisans strive for mastery of their chosen craft. They dedicate themselves to continuous learning, refining their skills, and expanding their knowledge base. They have a deep understanding of the techniques, tools, and materials required for their craft.
Attention to Detail: Artisans possess a meticulous eye for detail. They take great care in every aspect of their work, ensuring precision, accuracy, and flawless execution. They understand that even the smallest details contribute to the overall quality and beauty of their craft.
Patience and Persistence: Artisans understand that excellence cannot be rushed. They are patient and persistent in their work, willing to invest the necessary time and effort to achieve exceptional results. They embrace the iterative nature of their craft, continuously striving for improvement.
Respect for Tradition: Artisans value the traditions, techniques, and heritage associated with their craft. They study and appreciate the work of past masters, honoring and preserving the knowledge and wisdom passed down through generations. They often seek to balance tradition with innovation, finding ways to evolve while maintaining the essence of their craft.
Dedication to Quality: Artisans have a deep commitment to producing work of the highest quality. They take pride in their craftsmanship and hold themselves to rigorous standards. They are not satisfied with mediocrity and are driven to deliver excellence in every piece they create.
Problem-Solving: Artisans are skilled problem solvers. They encounter challenges and obstacles throughout their creative process and possess the ingenuity and resourcefulness to find solutions. They approach problems with a methodical mindset, using their expertise to overcome hurdles and achieve their desired outcomes.
Passion and Pride: Craftsmen are fueled by a genuine passion for their craft. They approach their work with enthusiasm, joy, and a deep sense of purpose. They take pride in their creations, finding fulfillment in the mastery of their craft and the impact their work has on others.
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I am no artisan or craftsman, but occasionally I enjoy working with my hands. I picked up origami recently, and it's been a fun, stress-busting activity. It takes only a few minutes to make one, and there are thousands of tutorials on youtube.
I recommend going for origami paper if you want to try it out - like this.
AROUND THE WEB
The title of today's post is inspired by Julia Cameron's book "The Artist's Way".