John Lauer, designer and sculptor, alum of the Creative Focus Workshop

Getting comfortable with putting work I consider still in development out in public—and then finishing it—used to be a major hurdle.

But in the Creative Focus Workshop, my perfectionism calmed down once I backed off from trying to make “gallery-ready art.” Now I call everything prototypes and study models, which is what they really are, snapshots of a life-long convoluted process.

The mental shift has really freed me up. I feel re-connected to my 25-year-old self who regularly brought in boxes of work I’d done at home to amaze my colleagues at work.  I have no problem talking about process, intent, and failure and see that that’s how I need to proceed. The difference from in the past is that I have to finish every damn thing so I can learn from every step, not just from the first few, and put it all on display to get people ready for the next, better, batch of stuff.