Produce Like Picasso: Mastering Design Delivery #sxsw


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Pablo Picasso was a prolific artist. He produced over 147,800 pieces of art, which equates to delivering seven finished pieces of art each day of his career. Picasso also delivered in different mediums: paintings, sculptures, ceramics, architecture, and more. What was Picasso’s mindset? What methods did he use? How did Picasso move from concept to production so quickly?
In this talk, you will learn how to produce Picasso and avoid the pitfalls of production. We will review Picasso's production principles with examples from his life. By applying the principles of Picasso, designers can create more effectively and quickly.

This is a follow-up to Design Like da Vinci:

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Produce Like Picasso: Mastering Design Delivery #sxsw

  1. Produce Like Picasso
  2. In ancient times, art teachers told their students that “finishing is better than starting.” Today, you are going to learn about the greatest artist of the 20th century and, perhaps, the greatest finisher of all-time: Pablo Picasso. “Finishing is better than starting.”
  3. August 25,1944: Liberation Day in Paris
  4. Aerial Dogfights Around Paris
  5. Street to Street F ighting
  6. Snipers Shoot from the Rooftops
  7. In His Studio, Picasso F ocuses…
  8. A Stray Bullet Barely Misses His Head Moves his art supplies, model, and his dog to a new location. Finishes 5 pieces.
  9. Why Picasso?
  10. Hi, my name is Brian Sullivan. @bigdesign @BrianKSullivan #picasso
  11. Design Strategy & Execution Run 3 start of the art UX testing facilities at a major software firm.
  12. Writer and Speaker
  13. J. Schuh is a Creative Person
  14. September 4-6, 2014 We organize the Big Design Conference.
  15. Design Like Da Vinci
  16. 13,000 Pages of Sketches Da Vinci was great at the first 10%, which is starting a project.
  17. Only 30 Finished Paintings
  18. Picasso was a Prolific Producer Completed Projects Source: Guinness Book of World Records (2013)
  19. The Louvre Shows 35,000 Pieces of Art Picasso once said, “Give me a museum and I will fill it up.” He could fill up this museum more than 4 times over.
  20. A T of T Masters ale wo Da Vinci did the first 10%. Picasso did the last 10%. 13,000 pages of sketches 13,500 finished paintings
  21. Most Stolen Artist in the World Stolen Pieces of Art Source: BBC Special Report (2010)
  22. Daily Average F His Career or Number of Days Per Year x Years of Picasso’s Career Number of Days Worked 365.25 75 27,394 Daily Average for His Career = 7
  23. Known for His Artistic Periods • • • • • • • Traditional (in school) Blue Period Rose Period African-Influenced Cubism Neo-Classicalism Surrealism
  24. 10 of Top 50 Paintings Sold at Auction
  25. We Kept Coming Back to This Number Completed Projects Source: Guinness Book of World Records (2013)
  26. Read 13 Books on Picasso
  27. Can We Apply Picasso to Our Work?
  28. 5P’s of Productivity
  29. Passion
  30. Passion Leads to Productivity “Art is a lie, which makes us see the truth.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Find your passion. Get support. Educate yourself. Develop your brand. Life events fuel passion.
  31. Picasso’s F Word: Pencil irst His first word was “piz”, which is short for lapiz. It means ‘pencil’ in Spanish. Picasso at age 4.
  32. Picasso’s F T His Son ather aught • Jose Ruiz taught brush technique. He was known for painting doves. • When he notices his son loves to draw, the lessons begin.
  33. “The Back, The T and The Ear” ail, While cutting out paper animals with his sister, she challenges him to start in different places. Years later, Picasso said he believed his talent was magical because he could start anywhere. Source: John Richardson, A Life of Picasso: Volume 1, 2012.
  34. F Oil Painting of Picasso irst • Picasso finished his first oil painting at 9 years of age. • Upon seeing it, his father said he no longer wanted to paint. Picasso’s Le Picador (1890)
  35. Huge Desire T Build a Personal Brand o • Pablo Picasso’s birth name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz • Mother’s maiden name: Maria Picasso y Lopez Picasso’s Dona Maria (1923)
  36. The Name is The Brand “Can you imagine me being called Ruiz? Pablo Ruiz? Diego-Jose Ruiz? Have you ever noticed the double “s” is very rare in Spanish? There’s a double “s” in Matisse, Rousseau, and Picasso.” Different signatures: Pablo Ruiz P. Ruiz P. Ruiz Picasso P. R. Picasso Pablo Picasso Paul Picasso Picasso Source: John Richardson, A Life of Picasso: Volume 1, 2012.
  37. Barcelona School of F Arts ine Picasso finishes a one-month entrance exam in one week. He’s immediately accepted, but often daydreams in classes.
  38. Often Sent to Detention "For being a bad student, I was sent to detention. I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly. I could have stayed there drawing forever."
  39. T rauma F His Passion for Art ueled • When he was 13, his sister was dying from diphtheria. Picasso makes a vow to God: “Save my sister and I will give up my art.” • She dies at Christmas and Picasso paints like the Devil. First Communion (1896)
  40. Rejects F ather’s Dream, Quits School “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” “In art, one must kill one’s father.”
  41. Passion Points of Picasso 1. Find your passion (drawing for Picasso). 2. Family support for focus and education. 3. Find a mentor, early on (Picasso’s father). 4. Get an education (for the sake of learning). 5. Know life events will fuel your passion.
  42. Purpose
  43. Passion is your fuel. Purpose is your engine
  44. Purpose-Driven Design Is Productive “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.” 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Seek new experiences. Defy the status quo. Take risks. Do not copy. Plunder from the past. Look beyond your own design discipline.
  45. “Good artists copy. Great artists steal.”
  46. Stealing is Making Something Yours “Copying is doing exactly like someone else does. Stealing is when you take something, change it so much, the innovation is so disguised, so changed, that it looks like it belongs to you.” Source: Dr. Enrique Mallen, Forbes 2013.
  47. Original Branding Called “Picasso Mac” Steve Jobs hated it. “Good” artists copy.
  48. F inder’s Icon is Based on Picasso “I do not seek. I find.” - Pablo Picasso “Great” artists steal. Picasso’s Two Characters (1934)
  49. Picasso Shown in “Think Different” Ads
  50. Apple Store Inspired by Ritz-Carlton Someone greets you at the door. The Genius Bar dispenses advice, rather than alcohol.
  51. “Shameless About Stealing Great Ideas” “I learned about serif and san serif typefaces at Reed College. Ten year later, we designed the Mac to be the first computer with beautiful typography.” 30th anniversary of the Macintosh. Source: Steve Jobs, Huffington Post, 2011.
  52. Both Continually Innovated Blue Period Cubism Neo-Classical Smartphones Tablets Computers
  53. Picasso Greatly Influenced Steve Jobs “Steve Jobs admired Picasso because he could have taken a conventional approach and done it well for the rest of his life, but Picasso (like Jobs) tried to change things.” Source: Dr. Enrique Mallen, Forbes 2013.
  54. “Real Artists Ship!”
  55. Matisse Buys T African Statues wo Craftsmanship of the Statues Magical Qualities
  56. Masks Used in African-Influenced Period • From 1906 to 1909, masks dominate Picasso’s work.
  57. Masks Used in Early Cubist Work “To copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others, it leads to sterility.”
  58. Purpose Points of Picasso 1. Have an open mind to new experiences. 2. Be original. Challenge the status quo. 3. Look beyond your own design discipline. 4. Steal great ideas, but make them your own. 5. Take risks. Do not copy other people. 6. Great artists ship!
  59. Proficiency is your mastery of tools and techniques.
  60. Passion. Purpose. Proficiency.
  61. Mastering T and T ools echniques “I am doing that which I cannot do, in order to learn how to do it.” 1. Get an education. 2. Find a creative space. 3. Research, research, research. 4. Practice, practice, practice. 5. Network, network, network.
  62. Early F Education in School ormal • Taught brush technique by his father, Jose Ruiz. • Attended the Barcelona School of Fine Arts Barcelona School of Fine Arts Picasso’s Le Picador (1890)
  63. At 14 Years Old, Father Rents a Studio • He prefers to work in solitude and silence. • Dogs, cats, and a monkey can go into the studio. • Maids could not clean (or dust) his studio.
  64. Shared a Studio, Set the Schedule When Picasso shares a studio, he sets the schedule for everyone’s time to paint, eat, and sleep. He prefers to work alone at night.
  65. Skip Classes to Visit Local Museums When he got bored, Picasso skipped school to visit museums. He loves the works of El Greco and Goya. He did his own research.
  66. Practice, Practice, Practice Lovers of the Street (1900) Absinthe Drinker (1901) Head of a Woman (1901)
  67. Networks With Artists • Tertulia is an informal gathering of artists and musicians. • The Four Cats was his first network. • They talk about art, music, current events, literature and more. Sketch of The Four Cats
  68. Joins F Avant-Garde (Vanguard) rench • • • • • • • • Henri Matisse Guillaume Apollinaire Salvador Dali Frank Lloyd Wright Paul Gauguin Georgia O’Keefe Jackson Pollock Henry Moore • • • • • • • • Gertrude Stein Miles Davis Duke Ellington Samuel Beckett Henry Miller Isadora Duncan Virginia Woolf Andy Warhol
  69. Proficiency Points of Picasso 1. Move beyond just pushing pixels. 2. Get an education and learn on your own. 3. Research, research, research. 4. Practice , practice, practice. 5. Network, network, network.
  70. Persistence
  71. Persistence when you get stuck.
  72. Persistence Keeps You Productive “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” 1. 2. 3. 4. Establish a routine. Develop a process. Learn from setbacks. Master different design disciplines. 5. Seek longevity. Take a long view.
  73. Set a Routine and Stick to It • • • • • • • • 10am: 11am: 12pm: 4pm: 8pm: 9pm: 11pm: 2am: Wake Up Eat & Exercise Start Work Siesta (or nap) End Work Eat Dinner Night Work Sleep Picasso’s Ceramic Clock
  74. Day After Liberation Day “Paris is liberated, but Picasso is besieged.” Picasso has so many visitors—artists, reporters, GIs, resistance fighters, art dealers. His schedule is thrown off. Picasso is forced to open up his studio every Thursday.
  75. Developed Good Work Habits 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Produces rough sketches. Explores alternatives. Iterate his sketches. Reduces alternatives. Begins his project. Picks workable designs. Took photos in later years. Finishes his work. Documents in a journal.
  76. Persistent with His Projects Picasso would occasionally get stuck. The Portrait of Gertrude Stein is an example. She sat 90 times for this portrait. And, Picasso still could not get it right. He is so stressed out that he takes a short vacation to Spain. While working with clay, he figures it out. He paints her head from memory and finishes the portrait.
  77. Mastered Different Disciplines Picasso worked in different mediums— paintings, lithographs, etching, wood, steel, ceramics, illustrations. He would take elements from different mediums and apply it to whatever he was working on. Prints Ceramics Stage Designs Costumes Sculptures Paintings
  78. Career Persistence: Paris or Bust • • • • 1st visit was a failure. 2nd visit almost dies. 3rd visit was a failure. 4th visit some success. Picasso’s Self-Portrait (1900)
  79. Persistent with Blue Period The Blue Period did not initially sell. 20 years later, they fetch the most money at auction of all of Picasso’s periods.
  80. Persistent in Business • Sold art in Germany and Russia in 1910s. • Sold directly to Leo and Gertrude Stein. • Did not exhibit in Paris. Germany Russia Picasso’s D. H. Kahnweiler
  81. Gertrude Stein Markets for Him Picasso’s art was shown more at Gertrude Stein’s apartment than the art salons of Paris. Picasso had no exhibits in Paris until the 1930s.
  82. Persistent Over Time: Longevity • • • • • • • Traditional (in school) Blue Period Rose Period African-Influenced Cubism Neo-Classical Surrealism
  83. Longevity: Emptying and F Up illing “Picasso empties himself and he fills up again, so quickly. Then, he starts to empty himself, again.”
  84. Persistence Points of Picasso 1. Your creative process beats creative blocks. 2. Develop a schedule and good work habits. 3. See your setbacks as learning experiences. 4. Master new disciplines to solve problems. 5. Empty yourself, fill up with new challenges. 6. Do not have the fear to begin, again.
  85. Partnerships
  86. Picasso’s different partnerships were critical to his productivity. Of all the 5 P’s of productivity, Partnerships is the most important. Partnerships are what you need to solve WICKED problems.
  87. Picasso’s Levels of Partnerships • Family • Mentors • Tertulia, or Network • Rivals • Collaborators
  88. Childhood F Support Critical amily • Uncle Salvador pays his tuition at art school. • Mother constantly writes him while he is in Paris.
  89. Early Mentor: F (Jose Ruiz) ather • Taught him brush technique. • Stretched Picasso’s canvases. “Every time I draw a man, I instantly think of my father.” Source: O’Brien, Patrick. (1994) Picasso: A Biography
  90. Later Mentor: Max Jacobs • Poet who taught Picasso how to speak French. • For a short time, they shared an apartment.
  91. Later Mentor: Guillaume Apollinaire • Both loved poetry, African art, & detective novels. • First critic to positively review Cubism. • Coined the term “Surrealism” to describe Picasso’s stage designs for a ballet called “Parade”.
  92. Drew Inspiration from His T ertulia Gertrude Stein • • • • • • • • • Gertrude Stein (Writer) Isadora Duncan (Dancer) Leo Stein (Journalist) Max Jacobs (Poet) Ernest Hemingway (Writer) Fernande Olivier (Model) Joan Miró (Sculptor, Painter) Dora Marr (Photographer) John Richardson (Biographer)
  93. Historic Rivalry with Matisse “No one has ever looked at Matisse’s paintings more carefully than I; and no one has looked at mine more carefully than Matisse.” Picasso (self-portrait) Matisse (self-portrait)
  94. Their F riends Loved This Rivalry Henri Rosseau Leo Stein Gertrude Stein • Their friends encouraged the rivalry. • Gertrude loved Picasso, Leo loved Matisse.
  95. F riends Could Be Childish Max Jacobs Apollinaire Matisse’s Portrait • Matisse gave Picasso a portrait of his daughter. • Picasso’s friend threw felt darts at the painting.
  96. Matisse’s The Joy of Life This is Matisse’s Joy of Life, which is a colorful pastoral painting. It is set in a meadow where groups of people dance, sing, talk, and make love. Picasso loathed everything about it—the colors, the nudity, the shapes, the setting, and everything. It was too artificial. The viewer is seeing things from far away.
  97. Picasso Responds T Matisse’s Work o One year later, Picasso produces the Young Ladies of Avignon. This painting is a complete rejection of Matisse’s Joy of Life. Instead of a pastoral setting, it is set in a brothel. The viewer is not passively looking into a meadow; the viewer must actively choose between five different prostitutes in several poses. And, some of the figures wear African masks. This painting appears in more art books than any other piece of art in the 20th century. It is an early form of Cubism. And, it is a complete rejection of Matisse.
  98. Similar Subjects, Different Contexts It is a similar subject (the joy of life), but they have completely different contexts. Picasso steals Matisse’s subject. Great artists steal. Matisse’s Joy of Life (1905) Picasso’s Young Ladies of Avignon (1906)
  99. At Times, Very Competitive Rivalry • June 16, 1931: Matisse retrospective is largest in Paris ever. • June 16, 1932: A year later, Picasso shows in the same salon: - 225 paintings - 7 statues - 6 illustrated books
  100. Picasso Greatly Respected Matisse At a group luncheon, Matisse excuses himself. Picasso says, “He must be resting on the crown of his laurels.”
  101. Only Picasso Could Insult Matisse When the other guests insult Matisse, Picasso is furious. He says: “I refuse to let you insult Matisse. He is our greatest painter.” When the other guests insult Matisse, Picasso is furious. He says, “I refuse to let you insult Matisse. He is our greatest painter.” You should always respect your rival.
  102. Cubist Collaborator: Georges Braque “ The things that Picasso and I said to one another during those years will never be said again, and even if they were, no one would understand them anymore. It was like being roped together on a mountain.” —Georges Braque Source: Berger, John. 1972. The Look of Things: Selected Essays and Articles.
  103. Analytic Cubism (1909-12) Simple, geometric shapes are arranged on a canvas to represent an object or a person. On the right, a guitar is broken into geometric shapes and rearranged.
  104. Synthetic Cubism (1912-14) Picasso introduces a collage method, where objects are placed on the canvas to interact with painted elements. Wallpaper, newspaper, and sheet music are on this canvas of a guitar.
  105. No Journals, No Signatures Cubism was a deep collaboration. Picasso suppressed his ego. 1. Picasso did not keep journals, which was unusual for him. 2. They do not sign their names to their art.
  106. They Met Daily for 7 Years
  107. World War I Ends The Collaboration
  108. Picasso Marries, Braque Injured
  109. Partnership Points of Picasso 1. Partnerships affect your productivity. 2. Your family sets you up for success. 3. Mentors educate and advise you. 4. Your network will inspire you. 5. Rivals push you in different ways. 6. Collaborators expand your boundaries.
  110. Picasso’s Guernica (1937) Case Study of 5P’s of Productivity
  111. Picasso became a master designer by going through the 5P’s of Productivity.
  112. 1937 World’s Fair 1937 World’s Fair to be held in Paris. The government of Spain commissions Picasso to paint a large mural.
  113. Revisiting a Common Theme Picasso was not satisfied with his progress on a common theme: The Painter and His Model.
  114. 26 April 1937: Guernica, Spain It is the Spanish Civil War. On April 26, 1937, in Guernica, Spain, it is Market Day. General Franco is trying to overthrow the Spanish government. Spain is being torn apart.
  115. Market Day: Up to 10,000 People Source: Russell Martin, Picasso’s War, 2012.
  116. F Airstrikes in Three Hours ive In his ongoing attempt to overthrow the Spanish government, General Francisco Franco asks Adolf Hitler to bomb Guernica. Source: Russell Martin, Picasso’s War, 2012.
  117. Hitler’s F Use of a Blitzkrieg irst 50 aircraft with 120 airmen carrying 1,000s of pounds of bombs. They refueled, making 5 bombing runs. There is no military target. Source: Russell Martin, Picasso’s War, 2012.
  118. The City is Completely Destroyed Up to 80% of the town is destroyed, including a church having a wedding. The Bride survives; the Groom does not. Source: Russell Martin, Picasso’s War, 2012.
  119. More Than 3,000 Casualties Two days later, reporters see a Priest giving funeral rites over a mass grave. Source: Russell Martin, Picasso’s War, 2012.
  120. An Ambitious Plan
  121. Picasso learned by going through each of the 5P’s of Productivity.
  122. Picasso produces Guernica using the 5P’s of Productivity.
  123. Passion: Inspired by the Event
  124. An Eerie Omen Images from the “Dreams and Lies of Franco” are in “Guernica” including the Weeping Woman, Bull, Horse, and a Dead Child.
  125. He Desires T Create a Giant Mural o 11' 5" x 25' 6" (or 3.5 m x 7.8 m)
  126. Purpose: An Impossible Deadline • Guernica bombing on 26 April 1937. • World’s Fair in Paris on 25 May 1937. • Picasso has 24 days to complete it.
  127. Sketches Right Away
  128. Must Slant His Canvas
  129. Uses a Ladder to Paint Up High
  130. Art Before Propaganda “The stand of Picasso was quite clear. A work of art, in order to be really effective in political terms, has to work first of all as a work of art.“ --Tomas Llorens Political Imagery Artistic Merit
  131. Proficiency: Mastery of T ools “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
  132. Elements F His Major Periods rom • Blue Period: Uses monochrome colors to created universal images. • Rose Period: Hidden harlequins show the inhumanity of war. • Cubist Period: Overlapping images and texture added.
  133. Guernica’s Secret Images • African-Influenced Period: Conceals masks for a psychological effect. • Surrealism Period: Some images must be rotated to see them: - Bull - Skull - Arrow Scholars see 6 hidden images.
  134. Neo-Classical: Balancing the Chaos
  135. Removes Raised F ist In the Spanish Civil War, the Republicans saluted with a raised fist.
  136. Eliminates a F Point (Chaotic) ocal
  137. Moves the Bull Closer to Woman Horse and Bull were originally fighting. Now, the damage is more man-made. Light and shade bring the focus back to the center.
  138. Persistence: The Thinking Process “A painting is never thought out and decided upon ahead of time. It is subject to changes in thinking while in process.”
  139. 45 Sketches Before Painting Anything • 23 different figures • 12 on the bull alone • 6 on whole concept
  140. F Iteration of Guernica irst Underlying wireframe shows a soldier with closed fist. The bull is ready to charge and the horse is clearly dead.
  141. Second Iteration of Guernica Adds grain to the closed fist with the sun in background. It is an outdoor scene with the bull scanning the horizon.
  142. Third Iteration of Guernica Removes soldiers arm with grain. Uses different shape for sun. You can start to make out the triangle, which balances the chaos.
  143. F Iteration of Guernica ourth Moves the horse’s head up. Hides other images. The horse is not dead, but in incredible agony. The bull is confused.
  144. F Design of Guernica inal “Sun” is now a light bulb, which is called “bombia” in Spanish. Artificial light reminiscent of a prison. Everyone is trapped.
  145. Partnership of Dora Maar • • • • • Finds Picasso a studio. Photographs his progress. Puts finishing touches on it. Only artist to co-create. “Weeping Woman” model.
  146. Initially Rejected, Later Revered • Clement Greenberg: “Guernica is jerky and too compact.” (1937) • Pablo Picasso: “I stand for Peace against War.” (1953) • Nelson Rockefeller: “A brilliant, anti-war masterpiece.” (1954)
  147. An Interesting Discussion Gestapo: “Did you create that?” Picasso: “No, you did!”
  148. 5 P’s of Productivity You can produce like Picasso. It takes passion, purpose, proficiency, persistence, and partnerships. We do not want you toget away without talking about the unspoken P, which is…..price.
  149. Price
  150. We Are Back to This Number Completed Projects Source: Guinness Book of World Records (2013)
  151. 7 Traits of Extreme Workaholics • • • • • Neuroticism Introvert/Extrovert Open to Experience Conscientiousness Agreeableness • Narcissism • Perfectionism
  152. Picasso’s Answer to Perfectionism “There is no such thing as a bad Picasso.”
  153. Eight Women, Eight Muses
  154. Over 70 Portraits of Jacqueline in 1 Year
  155. Picasso Isolated His Whole Life
  156. After F Wins, Exiled from Spain ranco
  157. Shoot at People to Drive Them Away
  158. Accused of Theft by Diego Rivera “I've never believed in God, but I believe in Picasso.” “Picasso paces around (the Louvre) like a dog in search of game.“ When Diego Rivera accuses Picasso of plagiarism, Pablo calls it … collaboration. Maynard Dixon’s Portrait of Diego Rivera
  159. T the Mother of T of His Kids o wo “Women are either goddesses or doormats.” She tells Picasso that she is neither one. She takes their children and leaves. Picasso pays little, if any, child support.
  160. After Publication of “Life with Picasso” • She writes a tell-all book. • Picasso refuses to see their children: - Claude is 14 - Paloma is 12 • They are turned away at his funeral. • Claude is the executor of the estate today.
  161. The Paradox of Picasso “It’s not what the artist does that counts, but what he is.”
  162. Who Do You See in the Mirror? You can produce like Picasso but you don’t have to pay the same price. We all go through the 5 P’s of productivity. To what extreme is totally up to you! • What price are you willing to pay? Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror
  163. “Finishing is better than starting.”
  164. This has been Produce Like Picasso!