Coping with a blank canvas

What is most impressive about the Sistine Chapel is how Michelangelo was able to stop eating pizza and focus on a blank ceiling and see a full piece of art.

For me one of the most terrifying prospects is being given an open ended task and canvas and being asked to come up with something. Just last night I was asked by Mrs C for a recommendation for a computer game.


  • How many players
  • Online or offline
  • Real world or fantasy
  • Sports?

Such a broad question needs parameters, and needs to be narrowed down. “Oh something like Ticket to Ride, a board game” I was told. Well this is more like it, something I can work with.

It’s also easier to search for “Games like Ticket to Ride” rather than “A game someone might like”.

I felt a similar panic with both our children. When they were infant-blobs how should we dress them, what toys will they play with and what would they watch on TV? Here are these collection of bones and skin and it’s up to me to impress on them some personality.

Now they are older I have come to realise that it was folly to believe that there could be some long term plan of how they would turn out. For a period of time we thought that Boy would be the quiet one yet he is now running around shouting louder than his sister ever could.

We’ve also gone through periods of liking Paw Patrol, Sarah and Duck, Shaun the Sheep and a multitude of other characters. The more discarded merchandise the more I have come to realise that sometimes it is not about knowing the end result but more about trying and seeing what works.

Now they are older it is easier to work with them, this years Christmas presents were more of a hit than last years. All because we have a clearer idea of how they are turning out.

That is the best way to deal with a blank canvas, not to be paralysed with the idea you may get it wrong but to just get something down and work from there.

Published by Geek Ergo Sum

Ah, so you worked out the riddle. You just needed to use dwarfish and the doors to Geek Ergo Sum opened. Or perhaps you just used Google. Either way you are here, on my little corner of the Internet.

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