The same rules that bring structure to learning and form the foundation for knowledge need to empower you to go beyond them. Pablo Picasso was classically trained and the rules he learned from his mentors told him to paint in a manner (realism) with careful use of colour and light (chiaroscuro). However, as most innovators do, he felt compelled to follow his internal compass and, inspired by his travels and contemporaries such as friend Henri Matisse (Le Bonheur de Vivre, 1905-1906), began breaking those rules, eventually creating Cubism (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon 1907). He had to resist every urge to revert to classical techniques in order to paint like a child. This must not have been easy. It never is to be an innovator; just look at Vincent Van Gogh. His innovative use of intense colour and impassioned brush stroke wasn’t recognized until well after his death in 1890. He only sold one painting in his lifetime.

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