What is the Minimum Viable Product(MVP) and where does it come from?
Programmers are some of the most clever, and hardest working people that I’ve had the pleasure of working near. I spend a lot of time around serious, independent programmers five to seven days per week, and over the course of two years, I have picked up some of the clever strategies that they have and I’ve been able to apply them to my art. Because their skills are in high demand, are among the most expensive vocations to employ, and because working without a plan can lead to expensive failures and wasted resources, they have great strategies for conserving effort and resources.
One of these strategies that I have applied loosely is called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). MVP is used in application development to create an product that fundamentally functions as intended and solves a consumer problem, without frills or extra features; simply essential functionality.
How does MVP apply to art and jiu jitsu?
I’ll confess that I probably mangled the concept of MVP and totally bastardized it’s application, and the jiu jitsu artwork for LocoJitsu is the first time that I applied the concept. When I first started making jiu jitsu art, I was coming up with all sorts of historically-accurate costumes, mythical beasts, distortion of space, and various sizes and mediums of artwork. I thought I should have a complete series of positions such as submissions or the named positions (kase gatame, mount, guard, etc.). These are all good ideas, but the possibilities were overwhelming, and were preventing me from creating cohesive artwork.
Once I decided on removed these variables, I was able to focus on actually making my artwork, finishing artwork, and developing a straightforward process. Now that I have completed the initial release (beta?), I am getting feedback about the artwork that will inform future work, I am getting commissioned work that I can customize and embellish. The simplified initial process that I came up with will allow me to make more complicated artwork more efficiently.
The feedback from the people I’m making this artwork for and about is maybe the most important part of the process: I could find out if I was on the right track with my most essential artwork before I added variables (robots, dinosaurs, samurai, etc) that might have made it difficult to attribute their satisfaction to one thing or another. Also, the additional variables would be time spent on non-jiu jitsu subjects that would take time away from the time and effort that I could put into the jiu jitsu essence of the artwork. In time, these are good things to try out, but not in the MVP phase.
What does painting just the essential subject (jiu jitsu) boil down to? Martial arts fans will remember the quote attributed to Bruce Lee, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” If I paint jiu jitsu 10,000 times, I’ll be a master of painting jiu jitsu, but if I paint 10,000 pictures where something other than jiu jitsu takes all of my time and effort, I will not master painting jiu jitsu very quickly. This is consistent MVP, to master one skill at a time, then move on to the next. I’ll confess that I’m not going to stick strictly to MVP or 10,000 paintings of jiu jitsu exclusively, but I will keep it in mind as I paint more to focus on the jiu jitsu at least as much as any other part of the painting.
BJJ Jiu Jitsu Guard Painting Print$49.00 – $199.00
Double leg sweep to mount$59.00 – $159.00
Judo Throw Painting Print$49.00 – $199.00
Judo Throw Painting Print #2$49.00 – $199.00
Open-guard Shift to Armbar BJJ and Judo$54.00 – $159.00
standing-armbar-open-guard-yin-yang-composition$54.00 – $159.00
Underarm collar choke from s-mount$59.00 – $159.00
Yoga Inversion, Handstand Warrior Pose$55.00 – $175.50
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