What do the two paintings in this article’s image have in common? They were painted by the same artist, Pablo Picasso. I am not a professionally trained artist or art critic. I was just observing the vastly different painting styles exhibited by a famous artist. The change in the artwork styles triggered a thought about how this serves as a lesson for all of us.
In his early years, Pablo Picasso trained and excelled in traditional academic art techniques. The first classic image of the elder gentleman, “Man in a Beret”, was painted in 1895 when he was about 14 years old. The second image, one of his 58 paintings in a series termed, “Las Meninas”, was painted in 1957 when he was about 76 years old. His vast portfolio of artwork shows a journey of transition from a classic method to a style that became unique to him. His creativity moved him beyond the constraints of traditional thinking in art.
We all start with foundational training in our careers, whether it be art or medicine. As we travel down the path in our occupations, we are faced with opportunities and obstacles that may offer us more than the traditional view of our profession. Based on how we approach these opportunities and obstacles, our careers can have very different outcomes. Whatever the diversion, we can choose to stay on the customary path or break out into something new.
I found it inspiring that an artist, like Pablo Picasso, who had all the talent of a great master artist at a young age should have the courage to break from the classic traditions and try something new. This is not a commentary on him as a person or his personal life, but the fact that he took a chance and gambled on his talents and creativity to come up with something unique and relevant in the art world. We all have that choice. But, it is just a matter of taking a chance on ourselves. By embracing change and venturing beyond the familiar using creativity as our guide, we too can leave a lasting legacy, much like Picasso did with his iconic and revolutionary art.
What are some practical ways we can foster creativity and think beyond the conventional in our daily lives?