Friday, June 22, 2007

Stories and Tortillas

I teach art classes at Brigham Young University-Idaho. It is always a pleasure to have young excited students with their lives ahead of them. All of these students want to know how to make great art. At first they seek for absolute answers. For example, If I do this (fill in the blank) then it will be good art? Those that progress soon begin to discover that making art is a process of discovery, observation and skill.

A conversation that I have with them is about tortillas.

Have any of you ever tasted a tortilla fresh off the stove from a Mexican Grandmother?

Several raise there hands.

It is one of the most delicious things that you will ever taste. I have had this experience and have even asked for the recipe.

Most of the recipes sound like this

Add flour to a bowl.
Add salt until it feels like this.
Add lard until it feels like this.
Add water until it forms a dough like this.

The success of the tortillas is based on previous experience making tortillas. The ingredients are simple but there is art involved in getting the recipe right.

I have equated this to the process of creating a successful design project. As an author searching for a story I think that this also applies. I am currently in the process of making stories but right now most of them have the texture and taste of bad saltine crackers. Someday I hope my stories become delicious tortillas.


roz said...

What a fabulous analogy, Scott.

Dylan said...

"Someday My Stories Will Become Delicious Tortillas..." is now my new iChat outgoing message.

You should seriously consider making a t-shirt that says that. Tell me that wouldn't be awesome.

Anonymous said...

I like that. It's simple but complex. The more your taste buds grow the more you learn about how to improve your recipe. Some day it will taste great. Then you lean there are 100 other ways to make a great tasting Tortilla. If you think yours are a bad saltine, mine must be the consistency of unprocessed lard.

Mike Laughead said...

U R smart

Kactiguy said...

mmmmm tortillas!