A few weeks ago, I took my daughter to the Art Institute here in Chicago. She’s three.
So as you can imagine it wasn’t a tremendous success of actually seeing a ton of art. We had a lot of fun though doing crafts they had set up for kids and eating lunch.
My proudest moment was when she yelled out “I really like that picture!” It was Vincent van Gogh’s The Bedroom. It’s my favorite too.
There’s an interesting exercise you can do at the Art Institute or other major art museums. Go find some Picassos and note how old he was when he made them. Now find some Cézannes and do the same.
It’s possible you spot something like Economics Professor at the University of Chicago, David Galenson did.
Picasso’s most valuable work, based on prices paid at auction, peaked when he was 25.
Cézanne at 65.
Some artists peak young. Others get better over time.
Galenson saw this over and over with writers and artists in all sorts of different time periods and industries.
I think the world puts too much focus on the Picassos and the young phenoms. We overlook the Cézannes. The folks who took a while to experiment on getting better and better and who never stopped.
The thing I take from this is that if you find yourself still experimenting in life. If you don’t have it all figured out. If you’re 30, 40, 50, 60 and still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up…
There’s still plenty of room and time to get better. Your peak is still ahead.
P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: youtube.com/nathankontny where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups, try Highrise.