12/23/2011 10:23 am ET | Updated Feb 22, 2012

The Glory of Nuts & Bolts

We love finished products, and yet, nothing that is worth coveting is void of intricacies that allow it to function. Charles Eames put it this way, "The details are details. They make the product. The connections, the connections, the connections. It will in the end be these details that give the product its life." As individuals, we must make every effort to look deep into the nuts and bolts in order to effectively build anything worthwhile.

This is something that I'm continually learning as an artist. I'm inspired every day by the things I see, but I have learned that studying the "guts" of a thing must accompany emulation. Instead of coveting the result, I've learned to pursue the process.

There are innovators and there are tweakers in every industry. Innovators make new changes to established methods, and tweakers make fine adjustments to the existing system. Although both serve their purpose, we too often draw our inspiration from tweakers without an understanding of the root. The surfaces of the Internet should not be our sole source of creative inspiration. Look into the nuts and bolts of the craft. There are greats in every field. Look into what they've done, what they learned, and what they changed about the craft in their time. Because it's important to be able to do both sides of the creative process. Not just "lost in the glory," but also the theology.

At the end of the day, it is elements of detailed skill in art that draw the line between average and excellent. The skill, the knowledge, the vocabulary. Not just a simple reliance on ability, but a commitment that pushes you to honor craftsmanship; causing you to excel through an understanding of the possibilities inherent in your craft.

No guts, no glory...

Subject: Nicole Loher
Written by Bianca Pandit & Rog Walker