EAT CAKE by S.C. Geraci
With devotion to my scarf business is how I spend most of my year. However, in these early months I spend more time painting than sewing. Painting allows me to think. It is no coincidence that I have also been reading a book on color theory. Many philosophies are discussed in the book. In order to understand and remember their meaning I relate them to my life. This book has taught me that color and business have some commonalities. I wanted to share my new revelation.
Creative entrepreneurship is like painting based on color theory. It is something dynamic we are trying to do based on static facts. You have a talent you would like to put to work. You do research and make a plan according to books and blog advice. You follow this plan, and heed advice, to the best of your ability. You struggle. It has been my experience that what ends up in triumph is not always what is supposed to work according to facts, statistics, and graphs.
Existence requires order. Red, yellow, and blue are primary colors. You know the rest. Existence also requires faith. At what point does it stifle your intuition to only follow rules laid out by others? Conventional approaches can be so dissatisfying. I say this because I really struggle with internet marketing. It was only innovative and creative for a second. We’re already saturated. It gives me gut-rot.
You are told how to match colors. This is like steps to plan a business. Color wheels are correct and business plans are valid. I know their laws and value them. But I also know that their broad application is another matter. A harmony needs to exist between them and what is in my brain and heart.
My book says that there are only about 30 legitimate color names, but in the mixing of shades and tones there are innumerable opportunities. I use this to validate the potential I have for success despite a disinterest in certain formulas to avoid failure. Over emphasis on the color wheel, and its rules, is like being in jail. To be a jailed artist seems an oxymoron. Break out. Don’t plug along according to what’s in the manual. Use what’s in your heart. Reference your imagination. Building a business with this mentality ensures your fulfillment.
In a painting you have stages. The beginning looks nothing like the end. The steps I’ve gone through as an entrepreneur are exactly the same. Allow me this simile.
The white of the blank canvas is a satisfying welcome. I plot the composition and start to block out color. Once the plans are laid they look great. This is when I’m most satisfied with my painting. I want to stop right there because I feel like it is so complete. The middle work of the painting is most aggravating to me. That’s when I have to employ color to build shapes with depth. I need to give the composition quality. I put in overtime getting shades and tone correct. If I don’t succeed it will throw off the entire intention I started with. (In this middle stage I have been known to gesso over the whole thing and start again.) After all this emotional distress the end near. This part is great. I sit back and admire the work. I go back in and tweak little colors here and there. I highlight certain areas I like. I bring balance to the canvas. Once the surface is all covered certain things that were so important in the beginning have disappeared. Adversely, other sections have taken new importance. The completed work is a balance of many things. It is the perfect compliment to my life.
“Color development follows its own laws.”
-painter Hans Hofman.
Based on COLOR CODES by Charles A. Riley II, 1995, University Press of New England
For an added bonus here is a game based on color theory:
Be careful, it's addicting.