"The details vanish in the bird's eye view, but so does the bird's eye view vanish in the details." - William James
My art teachers in school all frequently repeated that when you are working on a piece of art you are looking at it close up so that you see the details, but the viewer will look at it from a distance. You have to step back to look at the overall piece to see what affect all the details are having on the viewer. So we would always prop up what we were working on and view it from across the room. However, if we ignored the details our work deteriorated into a sloppy mess. We needed both the bird's eye view and the close up view to create a successful work of art.
Many clowns approach their make up as a work of art. While applying their make up they see it up close in their mirror and obsess about the details. However, most audience members will see the clown from a distance. This is important to remember when you make a small mistake during your application. You may be very aware of it, but audience members probably won't notice. Also, it is important while developing your make up design to get a distant view. I found that the time my make up improved the most was when I was working in a photo studio on the Circus Kirk midway. Everyday I posed for souvenir Polaroid photos with people attending the circus. Frequently they would show me our photo when it had finished developing. That way I got to see myself from a greater distance than my make up mirror allowed and I could determine the result of changes I made in my make up design.
I have found that in writing it is important to use the proper perspective at the right time. In the beginning I have to get the general flow of thoughts down. I have to see how everything fits together. If I worry about how an individual sentence is expressed, I get bogged down and never come up with a complete article. If I stop to look up facts, I may forget where I am going. So I sometimes type TBA, meaning "to be added", where I want to insert details. If I am having a particularly difficult time, especially if the spell check function keeps prompting me to stop to make a correction, I turn off my computer monitor so I can't see what I just typed. Then after I get the rough direction for the article figured out, I go back and look at the details. I do a fact check and insert missing details. I check spelling and grammar. After I have the details polished, I have to switch perspective again to see if the entire piece still flows properly. Sometimes the details that I added are an interruption and need to be removed.
In any type of project you have to switch perspectives to be sure that both the overall affect and the details is being taken care of. That can be difficult. Sometimes when you think you have completed a project, it is hard to inspect the details because you see what you expect to be there. Sometimes if you are caught up in the details you are reluctant to declare a project finished because there is something that can still be tweaked even though the result of the change is minimal. Each person has a perspective they are most comfortable with, and it can be hard to switch to the other. One of the most effective ways to change perspective is to take a break and concentrate on something else. With the passage of time you will forget what was there and be able to see your project from a fresh perspective. Another helpful aid is a check list to make sure important details aren't forgotten while you are taking a more distant view.
When you go through a difficult time, either physically or emotionally, you remain focused on the details. Sometimes the accumulated details can be overwhelming. If you can obtain a bird's eye view of their situation the details start to vanish. They still exist but they don't seem as important. The value of Coping Humor is that it provides emotional distance from what you are experiencing so you can change perspective and get the bird's eye view. The new perspective allows you to see more things that you might be able to put together to either solve the problem or at least make it more acceptable. That is why the work of Caring Clowns is so valuable.
How can you insure you are using the proper perspective at the right time? What can you do to change perspective? How can you obtain a bird's eye view? How can you zoom in on the details?