Jack Lemmon in Tribute, 1979 ©Al Hirschfeld
Al Hirschfeld, whose drawings chronicled the New York theatre scene for more than seventy years, was a master of the caricature. I think his artistic style also offers us an important lesson in how to live well.
His witty portraits focused on what was most distinctive about a person—eliminating all unnecessary detail. With just a few, well-placed lines and curves, Hirschfeld not only captured a performer’s likeness, but also defined that person’s character. He excelled in the art of simplification.
Simplification is the lesson Hirschfeld’s drawing style can teach us. Often the failure to simplify our lives becomes a major obstacle to achieving our dreams. Life wants to interrupt us sixty times an hour to ask, “Got a minute?” We need to fight this and focus on our innermost desires with disciplined perseverance.
Why not take what Al Hirschfeld did with his pen and apply it to our personal goals? Efficient, effective people realize that a lot of things on their “to do” lists will never get done, because they aren’t crucial to the achievement of their desires. Such people know what to delegate, relegate, and eliminate.
Keep Hirschfeld’s drawings in mind. Cut through extraneous details in your daily life. Simplify and focus on what’s essential to cultivating your own unique abilities and making yourself ageless.
MAKE YOURSELF AGELESS BLOG
Bruce Garrabrandt & Jeff White