To find is the thing

To find is the thing

Picasso on his artistic method, 1923:

I have never made trials or experiments. Whenever I had something to say, I have said it in the manner in which I needed to be said…I can hardly understand the importance given to the word research in connection with modern painting. In my opinion to search means nothing in painting. To find is the thing.

In other word, he was improvising. This is, according to Jonah Lehrer, is how geniuses are supposed to work:

They are epiphany machines, pulling breakthroughs from thin air. Once the epiphany arrives, the artist immediately recognizes its importance, and rushes the idea into paint or verse or melody.

See also:
Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

He goes on to compare the difference between “conceptual innovators” and “experimental innovators,” for instance jazz and rock music. Rock musicians don’t age well; the patient craftsmanship of jazz musicians leave them creative long after their rock counterparts, but both are needed.

The point is:

[C]reativity only exists in plural — there are many different ways to invent something new — and must always be understood in its cultural context.

We’re creating content in real time so it’s culturally relevant, socially meaningful, and adjusted for expectations at hand. Search isn’t the thing, it’s finding and creating.