This post is by guest author, Mark Edward Adams. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in theFineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 17,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely his own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.
If you have a unique amazing idea is it better to ask others for input or just take the idea and go for it? As artists, we thrive on creativity and in some repects it becomes a commodity and a source for our livelihood. As I began to build up the business side of my art, I constantly struggled with this question. After a certain point, I made a decision and it was partly due to a story I read about Brunelleschi and Ghiberti.
During the Renaissance in 1401, there was a competition to create the baptistry doors in Florence, Italy. The competition consisted of designing a single bronze panel. Among the sculptors, the two finalists were Brunelleschi and Ghiberti who each did reliefs about the sacrifice of Isaac. When creating this panel, each sculptor went about it in different ways. Brunelleschi was notoriously private and did not seek any advice while Ghiberti talked to everyone he met - to the point of asking people off the street for their opinion. In the end, Ghiberti won the competion and went on to create the famous Gates of Paradise in Florence while Brunelleschi gave up sculpture and became an architect. He later designed the famous Duomo dome in Florence.
If you look at each panel (which are on display at the Bargello Museum in Florence), both are exquisite. I think that what pushed Ghiberti ahead was the fact that he sought advice from others. I think he was able find the weaknesses and strengths through the eyes of others. This doesn't meaning changing your vision to fit the fashion of the day, but rather adapt your idea to make it stronger and more powerful. I wonder if things would have turned out differently if Brunelleschi sought advice.
I thought of this story a lot in my early days because it reminded me of my time studying sculpture in Florence. I made the decision to be like Ghiberti and seek out advice whenever I could get it. I even made it one of my core values. So when I finally made my business plan, I showed to at least 20 people in different fields and I still show it to anyone who asks. I never cast any work in bronze before letting dozens of people critique it. I tell everyone my ideas for new pieces and how I plan to promote myself. I am an open book. I think it has already saved me thousands of dollars and hours and hours of wasted time. Will someone take my idea for something? Maybe. But it is a chance I am willing to take.
Editor's Note: You can view Mark's original post here.