layering flavors.

When I started painting, I felt like I picked up the skill quicker than I should have. This is probably related to the fact that I have been a recipe developer for the last 7 years. That doesn’t make sense, but it does…

Early on in my painting career I found myself thinking, “this is just like cooking, you layer one flavor/color onto another until the end result is what you envisioned.”

This morning I was working on a new beat in Logic X and as I was trying to layer a bell sound with a piano to get the vibe right, I started to think, “this is just like painting, where I add layers of sounds until I have the right vibe.”

I’m starting to think that everything is really the same thing.

In any creative work, the primary task is to layer flavors in a tasteful way.

The same is true in food photography and fashion and coding and writing this note.

I sometimes worry about spreading myself too thin, trying to do too many different things all at once. But then I realize that what I am trying to do is just one thing – express “The Truth” in whatever medium I have at hand. That Truth is equally valid in enoki mushrooms over bulgur as it is in synth samples over an 808 baseline.

Sure, each discipline requires its own skillset, but that’s the easy part. Skills are cheap because you can acquire them with nothing but time (or just hire someone who has already acquired them). That’s why there’s such little correlation between good skill and good art.

Rather, what’s hard – and valuable – is having good taste. Knowing how to layer just the right flavors in just the right way in order to express “The Truth” is much more powerful.

Good taste is hard to develop, but once you have it, you can use it to make something remarkable with whatever medium you have at hand.

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