The artistic eye is also what you need to make design decisions that are not constrained by the tools. A complete absence of artistic instincts leads to an extreme lack of judgment. In a Seinfeld episode, Jerry gets massively frustrated with a skilled but thoroughly inartistic carpenter whom he has hired to remodel his kitchen. The carpenter entirely lacks judgment and keeps referring every minor decision to Jerry. Finally Jerry screams in frustration and tells him to do whatever, and just stop bothering him. The result: the carpenter produces an absolute nightmare of a kitchen. In Wonderboys, (a movie based on a Michael Chabon novel) the writer/professor character played by Michael Douglas tells his students that a good writer must make decisions. But he himself completely fails to do so, and his book turns into an unreadable, technically-perfect, 1000-page monster. No artistic decisions usually means doing everything rather than doing nothing. Artists mainly decide what not to do.

Molly Mielke