My Blog

Between the Ears

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This week, the media outlets are filled with images and information regarding the Olympics. In a small TV segment the other day a woman was modeling a swim suit with some new kind of material that is supposed to cut down the friction of water across the surface of the fabric. The representative of the company was saying that it could mean bringing a swimmer across the finish line one hundredth of a second faster than his/her nearest competitor. When asked about this, one U.S. team member laughed and said, “It’s not the space between the suit and the finish line that will make the difference, it is the space between your ears!” 

 So why do some professional athletes, indeed, professional artists, tend to 'deliver' in critical situations, while others are less dependable? In the field of psychology, most would agree that the mind-body relationship is a crucial one in the performance difference between comparably talented professionals. 

Crreating first-class art, too, is no different. There is a three part factor that helps an artist to deliver : head, hand, heart. Head (betwen the ears intelligence); Hand (technical hand skills to creating the art object); Heart ( the capacity to feel an emotional connection to one’s subject). Other descriptive words: disciplined, high work ethic, devotion to one’s craft, awareness, open to possibility, risk taker, fearless, etc. etc.