What I cannot see

I remember hearing a story once about a pottery student who worked very hard to create a beautiful vase. When critique day came, she proudly set her piece down in front of her professor and fellow students, then sat back down. Her professor walked up to her project, and after giving it a careful examination, he tipped it gently off the table and the vase hit the floor shattering it. The student sat and watched, horrified, as all that hard work, she thought, was for nothing. Or was it? The professor was indeed impressed with the student's work, but knew she could do better. She would go on to create another piece that out-did the first one, and her professor knew it was better. It was then she learned, then saw what she didn't see before--that thing that made this vase more beautiful than the last one.

It's a good thing for any artist to stretch boundaries and explore better ways of doing things, and to "out-do" what was done before. It's the only path of excellence there is and it's the one I'm on with every project.