I heard a thought-provoking message over the weekend. The speaker was making a point that hardships, challenges, failures and pain are like the chisel cuts of the master sculptor shaping you into the masterpiece he wants you to be. What causes frustration or hurts, is often creative editing, pruning or refinement being performed on our lives.

This image helped me recall an anecdote about Michelangelo, the Renaissance painter and sculptor, that I picked up in art college . I heard, what may be an apocryphal story, when asked how he carves such beautiful sculptures and worked out the form of his masterpiece, in this case David, out of a block of stone, he answered "It's easy, you just chip away everything that does not look like David."

Creativity isn't always about adding, sometimes you cut

This idea has been mulling around in my head since it was brought to mind yesterday. If you’ve ever watched the deleted scened from movies, you often see the great contribution made by a film’s editor. It is the editors job to shape the timing of the cuts and manage the pace of the film. This is often a painful action, ruthlessly cutting away footage and entire scenes that may have been expensive to produce, depicting great moments of acting and fantastic visual effects. But in the larger scheme of the movie, these segments need to be removed to improve timing, to focus the plot. Basically this creative editing is necessary for telling the story better.

I'm faced with this same challenge as I look over my collection of work featured in my professional portfolio. I've worked in many jobs and am very proud of being able to do lots of different kind of advertising and marketing work. But as I look at this collection as an editor, I realize the collection is getting kind of muddy. Like when you stir your watercolor paintbrush through all the colors and the pigments combine to make a bland, unappealing grayish-brown. I need to apply some pruning to make my story easier to see.

What creative editing do you need?

This is the challenge I’m facing now. As I try to advance my credibility and expertise in the area of creative direction, it feels like I should throw all my work up there. I want to cast as large a net as possible so I appeal to the greatest number of people.

Come a long on the challenge with me. Over the next few days, I need to focus on where I am at my best. I must remove samples I’ve proudly displayed for years.

>>What edits do you feel you need to make? Please share them with me in the comments.

Photo: Michelangelo's David Florence, Italy CC0 - Public Domain