For some reason the statement “Work smarter, not harder” has been showing up on my social media feeds a lot lately. Initially I took it at face value and said to myself that makes sense. But the more I thought about it, the more I began to disagree with it. There is a flaw in this statement that I missed initially.
NOT harder? Why not work harder?
Nothing comes to fruition without hard work and dedication. I think the statement makes more sense if it reads “Work smarter AND harder.” Now we are not simply just using our brain, but also putting in the effort to back up the smart work we are doing.
Without the hard work of sowing we do not appreciate the benefits of what we reap. When I hear “work smarter,” I feel that many people mean “take the easier route.” Take the path that cuts the time in half and possibly even cuts some corners. Immediately after comes “not harder,” implying that we can then be a little lazier as the work is now simpler. NO. Unacceptable.
Now what if work smarter meant let us figure out if what we are doing is important or if we are wasting time? Are we being efficient? Are we effective at what we are doing? We should assess and trim the “fluff” off, all the while *working harder* to achieve goals. Use our hands. Get dirty. Make mistakes, and learn from them. This is what I would rather the phrase mean.
When some people see my paper cutting work, they jump to suggest the way for me to produce more work in less time. “Use a laser cutter,” they say. I disagree strongly with this. Viewers do not get to see me if I were to use a lasercutter. No beautiful imperfections, no passion. I choose to put in the hard work, learning better techniques and working smarter as a result of these practices. This is work I love, and shortcuts are not good enough for me.
I think it is so easy for us, feeling the many pressures of modern society, to always look for the easy way out. I know that I do that often enough. But one area that I refuse to do so is when it comes to my creative life. It is important for me to put in the hard work, and from the hard work learn to work smarter. This is something I can definitely get behind.
Work smarter AND harder, friends!
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Recently I was approached by two of my awesome and talented friends, Raleigh and Kirby, who asked me to create this ink and paper cut piece for their album cover. This project of theirs and as a result this piece was called Anitsiskwa.
I created a mini-post / case study about this project and in this post you can also listen to their noise album.