Two resources today, both focused on SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION and STEALING FROM THE BEST.
First up, the great Japanese artist Hokusai, whose most famous work is the Great Wave Off Kanagawa. We all know it and have seen it used in various settings, either in its original form or as parody/hommage.
A quick confession: as many times as I have seen this blockprint, I have never realized — or at least never had it set in my mind — that there are three boats in the picture. People. Humans.
To our point today: Hokusai didn’t create this woodblock print until very late in life, and it was the last in a series of pieces depicting a large ocean wave. Each time he worked with this theme, his understanding both of water and of his craft increased. This is a lifelong SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION.
I cannot give you a better outline than Open Culture has already done. Go see.
Our other example today is even more direct: Charles Dickens, always the entrepreneur, performed his A Christmas Carol on the circuit for years, and he performed from a full printed text which he cut apart, pasted into a notebook, and then edited in the margins.
In this article over at Atlas Obscura, you can see some of his process at work, and again, the article there explains his SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION better than I can.
And speaking of A Christmas Carol and SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION, I will refer you to my personal travails with that scenario over at my personal blog: A Christmas Carol: The Sleepover Edition.