Have you ever witnessed something that felt magical? Not the kind of magic that a magician makes, but the kind that you encounter when you least expect it:
How a singer-songwriter creates a piece that’s surprising and delightful.
How my friend Katharine creates beautiful wool cycling clothes, executing complicated patterns with seeming ease.
How the background of a website slides ever so slightly to one side as a I scroll down.
There’s magic in all of these things. It’s an experience that makes you stop and delight in what’s unfolding in front of you.
The person crafting each of these has put tremendous thought into the creation and execution.
The real magic in a magician’s act is in what you don’t see. We all know that she didn’t just pull a ball out of that man’s ear, or that the other man was not just cut in half with a saw— but what we don’t see is how it all happens. We don’t see the work that went into her holding her wrist in just the right way to make it look like the ball was not in her hand but still under the cup.
The best moments in a magicians show are the ones where what we see defies what we know about the world around us. It’s the moments when feel ourselves ask, “how’d she do that?!?” in amazement.
Magic is seeing the creative’s best product without having to endure the entire creative process.[tweet that]
That’s why good art should be expensive— you’re paying for the years of struggle and process that the artist has put in.
It took a mastery of songwriting and language for the songwriter to make that song. It took years to create the perfect cycling dress (I think my friend Katharine may have). It took a blend of technical knowledge and esthetic nuance to make a website have that perfect feel.
The years of work and mastery— that’s the source of the magic.