The Key To Good Work Is Bad Work—Understand The Taste Gap To Be A Better Creator

Sometimes our expectations take away from the process of becoming a great – more evenly, a better creator.

A creator starts making things because we have great taste. But at the outset our creations aren’t as good as our taste.

It’s easy to get discouraged and give up at this point. You have a great idea in your head, but it doesn’t have that “it” factor once it’s made. Ira Glass describes this as the taste gap.

A chart which helps understand the taste gap to be a better creator

Virgil Abloh, a distinguished creator, expanded on this idea during a lecture he gave at Columbia. He shared, “The only way to get to the end means is to start your domino effect. Which is basically: put out bad work. [laughs] I for one am not a perfectionist, and it’s such a gratifying concept.”

One of my favorite artists was encouraging me to put out bad work?

The thought unsettled my inner perfectionist, but it was also liberating. It encouraged me to focus on the volume of work I made and helped me understand that all of the creators I admired went through the same process.

At the moment, my focus is on closing my taste gap with writing and design. 

While Virgil refers to the process as a domino affect; I like to imagine it as stairs on a staircase. It reminds me to focus on one step at a time.

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