Tag: Cobbler

STICK TO THY LAST

Posted by – January 25, 2012

According to legend, the old idiom, “Stick to your last,” originated with Apelles, a painter in Ancient Greece.  As the story goes, a shoemaker found fault with one of Apelles’ works, saying the shoe was incorrectly portrayed.  When Apelles rectified the mistake, the cobbler then pointed out an error in the leg, thus elliciting from Apelles this-now-infamous admonishment: “Shoemaker, do not go above your last.”

Usually, “sticking to what you do best” is sage advice, however every business has a life cycle — birth, growth and maturity — often followed by “death” in companies that fail to adapt to change.  Nothing epitomizes this more than the demise of Eastman Kodak.  “Big Yellow,” the once-revered photographic giant, has fallen into chapter 11 bankruptcy.  By the way, a “last” is by definition, rigid and inflexible.  Draw your own conclusions.

No person or company wants to be considered “over the hill,” but when you do come to a hill, you either go over it, around it or backwards, or you stop altogether.  Conquering a hill often involves substantial investments in time and financial resources; in fact, just moving forward requires continuing to learn and grow.  Some people and some companies just don’t have that in them, and Darwin’s theory eventually rules the day.

Awhile back, I originally created the accompanying image for Texas Boot Co.  It was intended to epitomize and glorify hand-made craftsmanship.  I shot it on the large-format color transparency film, Kodak EPP.  I later “re-purposed” it with advanced contemporary techniques, employing a hi-res drum scan, multiple layers of textures and Photoshop CS 5.

Ever onward, over the next hill.