By Fabio Zaniboni
Reminiscing on the inspirational moments in my life evokes a sense of gratefulness with all of those who have been part of my life journey.
My grandmother Rina, who was a professional painter, taught me the techniques of pencil and oil painting. Despite me being known as quite the restless troublemaker, my ever-so-patient grandmother managed to persuade me to spend my afternoons at my drawing board, perfecting my techniques. The story of the “O” by Giotto, an Italian painter from the late 13th century, was one of her favorite stories to tell during those endless hours of training and practice on my drawing board during my personal journey to perfection.
In 1296, the Pope, the most powerful man during that time period, sent his emissaries to collect masterpieces from the best Italian artists and bring them to Rome so he could select the master who would be entrusted to carry out the paintings of St. Peter’s Basilica. A courtier showed up at Giotto’s studio asking for his masterpiece to be taken to Rome. Giotto, instead of selecting his best piece of artwork, took a white canvas and painted, right in front of the courtier with a single freehand stroke of his brush, a perfect circle. He then gave it to the courtier. The skill demonstrated by Giotto with his perfect “O” got him the commission.
Even at that time, the purity of something so minimal was considered superior over the most complex and sophisticated masterpieces.
As a youth I spent countless hours with my grandmother penciling out straight lines and circles. This taught me to appreciate the essential beauty of a simple stroke, and understand the value in the almost endless amount of practice required to master something so minimal.
I am grateful for all the inspiration I have received throughout my life and I enjoy sharing it whenever I have the opportunity.
Here are some of my most inspiring quotes relating to minimalism and I hope inspire you as well:
"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
"Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
“Simplicity isn’t just a visual style. It’s not just minimalism or the absence of clutter. It involves digging through the depth of complexity. To be truly simple, you have to go really deep.... You have to deeply understand the essence of a product in order to be able to get rid of the parts that are not essential." — Jony Ive
"The big art of design is to make complicated things simple." — Tim Parsey
"Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent." — Joe Sparano
Which quote do you feel defines minimalism? One of these? Or is there another great quote you can share with me? Please comment below.