Less is More

I constantly struggle with saying too much. To be honest? I often lose that struggle.

I lose because I want to explain more. I want to address every question that might come up. I want to make sure there is an understanding.

Paradoxically, though, after a point, more information complicates the topic. It becomes more confusing, not less.

Lately I’ve been deleting whole sentences. It’s OK to leave something open for people to ask about.

I thought of this today because of a recent art exploration, using yarn or string to mask paint, picking up the unmasked paint with paper, then removing the yarn/string and picking up the rest. The idea is to aim for what you want in the 2nd print.

I was underwhelmed with the effect in the video I watched. And then I did it. And I LOVED it. And I realized that with very few lines, a lot can be evoked in a drawing.

2 prints of pears in blue with purple tinges. The one on the left is the first print, where the outline of the pear and the internal texture is left blank with paint filling in the rest. The one on the right, the target image, has the most paint where the yarn was.

With the first set of prints, I added in some texture in the center of the pair. But I realized – I did not need to. It would be every bit a pear, with that detail removed.

So I tried another experiment, and like the pear, I really like how this came out:

Same style as before, but this time 1 image - just the 2nd print of what the yarn left behind. The image is of a pumpkin and the lines are in orange.

A reminder that less can be more. In art, in speaking, and in correspondence.

I will (ironically) add a caveat here, which echoes Teresa Torres – drawings can say so much with just a few lines – more so than just a few words or sentences. I’m glad to have this reinforced even though I have yet to work on my own product management drawing habit.