The difference between a good mechanic and a bad one, like the difference between a good mathematician and a bad one, is precisely this ability to select the good facts from the bad ones on the basis of quality. He has to care!

-Robert Pirsig,ย Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Ever heard the expression “the devil is in the details?” It is true, but details are NOT what you think… It’s not a small little fact that seems unimportant. It’s caring enough to see the facts at all. You can “Know” everything you need to know and not care enough to really see it. It’s THAT detail that is the crux of the matter.

It’s too much to try to explain here, but Pirsig suggests that simply caring about things will allow you to tune into “quality.” That elusive truth beyond what you think you see, what you think is real, and what you think you feel. That there is something more. And this is pretty much borne out in your life, right? The things you care about are what you’re good at. And you’re good at it because you “care” and you can just “see” it. But here’s an interesting fact… “caring” is not something you do… it’s just simply a choice.

And if caring leads to quality and truth, then quality- in science, art, life… in everything– is simply a choice. Choosing to care about what you put your hands to do. So why so much failure? Because there’s so little thought- so few choices made to actually care about things. People not choosing anything, but getting “stuck” in indecision or ignorance.

“Mr. Schwartz, I’m not good at computers.” A choice.

“Schwartz, I don’t get the art stuff.” A choice.

“Schwartz, Photoshop and Illustrator are easy.” A choice.

You will see what you look at. The problem is that there are too many people simply not looking. Too many people think that something will just happen. But it doesn’t happen until you make it happen. If you’re distracted with only what you’re feeling right now, then you are making a choice to not care about your future, or what you’re doing.

Everything is within your grasp… but you have to care about grasping it. What are you reaching for?

Christian’s image is a perfect example of this… He cared about this project. He wanted everything to be perfect- and took the time to make it so. It’s not that there was the art separate from the artist- it’s that they actually touched. Where Art and the artist touch, that’s where the magic happens!!! It’s all in the caring! This image, by the way, is ORIGINAL! The swirls, the background, the patterns, ALL original creations. Started with an autotrace of this– and then it was lots of warp tool and reshaping vector paths, and mastering brushes to create the custom repeating patterns in the back.