Marilag Lubag's Blog

The Best Ideas

March 7, 2016
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The best ideas are the simple ones. They are easy to execute and easy to follow up on. In addition, they require the less energy. The less complicated the idea, the more successful they can be.

Sometimes, people get so caught up in the moment that they would come up with a lot of complex ideas. However, their skills are not on par with what was on their mind. When it’s time for execution, it can cause disappointment because what was on their mind was clearly not what was seen on reality.

When I was eight or nine years old, I wanted to learn how to embroider. So, I decided to practice on one of my maroon handkerchiefs. Looking back, I think it’s a bad idea as the fabric already has an ornate design. Still, I was trying to make a really ornate design of an angel. I hand sewn white thread on maroon fabric. It looked like a child had done it. My stitches were very crooked and there were large gaps. My execution was expected—I was a child back then and this was my first embroidery project.

I should’ve started with daisies. Or even letters. It’s still going to look awful but it’s easier to execute. It’s a lot simpler than starting with an angel when my skill isn’t up to that level yet. Now, I could actually create more ornate designs. That angel would look better now if I did it today.

Simple ideas are not boring. The simplest ideas would look exceptional in the hands of the master. In fact, it showcases the skills of the master. A lot of people had complimented me with this particular scarf that I crocheted. They said that it looks simple but it’s beautiful. Same goes with my broomstick lace beanie. Both are very simple projects but they showcase my skill—something that I had been perfecting for 20 years.

We don’t need complex ideas in order to create something beautiful. Simple ones would do.


How to Train with a Master

February 26, 2016
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Sometimes, I like to pretend that I’m Whitney Houston (may she rest in peace) and would try to sing the way she does. Of course, it would always end up with me yelling aloud. My voice isn’t designed to be that of Whitney Houston. Mine is a cross between Broadway and Classical. I’m not designed to sing like Whitney Houston. Nevertheless, I like to sing and to pretend that I’m Whitney Houston when I find the time for karaoke—an impossible task these days.

Pretending to be someone who’s good at their craft is a good way to learn the craft. Whether it’s trying to imitate Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting or trying to write in the style of J.K. Rowling, trying to imitate a master is a good way to learn the basics while we’re developing our own skillset. Eventually, we would develop our own preferences until we know our craft enough to have our own style.

While some people would argue that we need to develop our own style, it’s not easy to develop our own style if we don’t know what style we like. It would be better to have your top five favorite authors, try to imitate their style, and keep what we like about them and throw away what we don’t. We won’t know what we want until we have an idea of what it could be.

Imitating a master is a form of training. Anyone who says otherwise either wasn’t very good at what they do or are lying. Every world class artist have other artists before them that influenced them. It’s how they learn what works for them and what doesn’t. Don’t be hesitant to imitate other artist while studying our craft. What’s important is to use them as a guide—to take what we like about them and to set aside what we don’t. Each individual is so unique that they cannot fully imitate the master. Sooner or later, the artist would know himself or herself enough to have his or her own style.

Who is your favorite artist on the medium you enjoy?


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