This is a follow-up to Sital Ruparelia's recent post on lessons to take away from Leonardo DaVinci. I recently attended a “Models” exhibition which showcased physical representations of DaVinci’s concepts based on his journal writings, and walked away with a few observations of my own.
First a quick note on what I saw. The “models” exhibit featured hands-on models of DaVinci’s ideas—all constructed by modern artists and woodworkers in Florence. The models are a comprehensive collection of ideas and inventions—from ball bearings and wind motion detectors to ideas that never quite worked as DaVinci envisioned--my favorite among these were "skis" that he believed would allow people to walk on water. (This exhibit has been staged in cities around the world; click here for a gallery of some of the “models” developed by Florence artisans. )
In his post, Sital provides five terrific lessons we can all learn from DaVinci—from refusing to be defined by your job title to focusing on the results of your talents, being okay with screwing up, and keeping an open mind. Here are two strategies you can use to put these lessons into action.
As you pursue your interests and explore possibilities, write them
down! Leonardo's journals have made a "priceless" contribution to
society; keeping track of your ideas can help you create your own solutions to
problems. Here's a great book by Columbia University Professor William Duggan that explains how the "aha" moment
happens, and how you can spark your own creative intuition:
Find a mentor, and stick with them--even when you've learned all you think you need to.
DaVinci may have had innate skills, but he also had training from the masters. At age 14, he became an apprentice to Verrachio, one of the premier artists of his time. Through his work with Verrachio and other apprentices, Leonardo was exposed to a vast pool of talent and technical skills--and the opportunity to learn everything from drafting and painting to mechanics and metallurgy. At age 20, DaVinci became a Master in the Guild of St. Luke, and subsequently was able to set up his own workshop. But he continued to collaborate with Verrocchio. As I see it, here’s the lesson in this: Long-term mentors can help you throughout your career, not just in the short term.
This is what I see in DaVinci’s work, do you have any additional observations to share?