February 28, 2023

Why Quantity Is Better Than Quality

If you want to achieve quality, then you will first need quantity.

Why Quantity Is Better Than Quality

If you want to achieve quality, then you will first need quantity. That’s a strong statement don’t you think? If you work tirelessly to produce a quality piece of art, you will fail if you have no quantity. Quantity is a sure number, you can count it, you know it. Quality is subjective. One person’s trash is another’s treasure.

One certain truth, the more you produce the higher the quality. “Not true,” you proclaim with dignity, “quantity does not always produce quality. Garbage in garbage out.” This is the cry of a person who is bogged down in the mire of producing perfection. You need not worry about the perfect picture when what you do is think about it, analyze it, and mule over it. The perfect picture will never appear. When; however, you start with the line and add another, erasing and learning, eventually you see something appear that is greater than where you started.

There is a popular Instagram artist who draws people while sitting on the subway and then presents them with the master drawing when they come to a stop. Always the people are amazed, dumbfounded, filled with joy, and also tears. The artist’s rendering of their face while resting, reading, listening, or other while the subway is moving is amazing. He captures with an expert eye the inner emotion of the person across from him.

If you saw his early work compared to the work he does now, you would not believe the same artist was the one who drew these masterpieces. You would dismiss him as an amateur and tell him his quality was awful. The proportions were wrong, the coloring was off, and the overall picture was pencil marks on a page.

How did he get from miserable to mastery? Quantity. He drew and drew and drew. His progression through drawing was subtle you could barely see the improvement from one drawing to the next. At any point he could have stopped and declared, “it’s not worth it.” He could have cried, “am I making any progress at all?” and given up all together. But he didn’t. He kept drawing every day, sounds like a streak doesn’t it?

Today he is lauded as one of the best. His drawings and paintings are powerful testaments of quantity to birth quality. He made a decision to be an artist. He declared, through doing every day what he loved, “I am an artist.” Through consecutive practice his skill matched his declaration and the butterfly of quality emerged from its cocoon of quantity.

When you decide that you are an artist, or a writer, or a scientist, or a… insert what you want, you show yourself you want to be that person through what you do every day, every week, and every month. How do you do that? Start streaking. There is no easier, nor more powerful framework to start you and keep you on the path toward who you want to be.

When you set a streak and keep it alive you declare to yourself you are serious about the person you want to be.