Wanna Be Talented?
I'm going to the AIIP Annual Conference in Minneapolis next month (April 19th - 22nd.) I was inspired to draw something for the conference. This flyer is the result. It's the iconic Spoon Bridge and Cherry at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. I thought it was kind of cool and I wanted to share it.
This conference is where Independent Information Professionals meet up and share the secrets of making and delivering world-class information products. I look forward to the conference every year.
I didn't learn to build information products overnight. Experience has been my best teacher, more than 25 years worth.
I had a bit of aptitude for it. I understood things rather quickly. It still took a lot of water under the bridge to understand what I do today, which, in the grand scheme of things, is just a grain of sand on a very large beach.
Then why did I think that I would be able to be so good at drawing right off the bat? I suppose it was a bit of fanciful/delusional/wishful thinking.
That's kind of changed in recent years.
It all happened when I made up my mind to be better. I stopped saying I wasn't good enough and only strove to be better regardless where I was in the process.
I'm talking to all of you who say, "I can’t even draw a stick figure." or "I wish I could draw."
I'd like to say that you CAN draw a stick figure and if you can draw a stick figure you CAN draw.
And wishing is what you do with your fairy god-mother or upon some star or other. It's the same as saying, “Let me have X and don’t make me work at it.” It’s wanting something for nothing. Believe me, I've often wished I was better but practice works much better than wishing.
Here's a little tidbit. Did you know if you wish upon the first star you see at night - it’s most likely not a star but a planet? BTW - Who is this guy Tid and why do we care about his bits?
Work is the only way to get there. It's really sad that proficiency doesn't fall out of the air like manna from heaven or grow on trees. You can have a bit of talent or aptitude but even Michelangelo worked his tail off to get better. One of the reasons he got so good is he did more and worked harder than other apprentices at the time.
I'd like to tell you, "If you can write you can draw." What is drawing but representing something on something else with some medium or other that is understood to be what it is or evokes some emotion?
Can we agree on that? Maybe or maybe not.
Do this - take out a pencil and write the letter "A".
Does it look like an “A”?
Do you think other people recognize it as an “A”
You just drew a stick figure that was recognizable to at least the entire literate English speaking world. That’s a lot of people.
You CAN draw something other people can understand and recognize.
Yes, some people write better than others. People who write well often care about writing more than those who don’t. There are calligraphers and there are doctors. The chasm is wide and deep.
The rest is just getting better. That takes educating yourself, practice, and the most important thing: Desire.
What do they say? "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." So find your desire and watch the teacher appear.
The saying is often incorrectly attributed to Buddha. Its likely origin is a charlatan called Mabel Collins. She actually recanted her claims in an 1889 letter. Why not use a "Fake Buddha" saying if it sounds good? It just sounds better coming from Buddha. There's no harm in that. Is there? I like the sentiment.
The rest is just - wash, rinse, repeat.
You don’t need any special tools. You can start with a pencil and paper.
If I draw something poorly, I just try again, and again, and again.
I guess you also need a high tolerance for repetition and failure.
The next time the spirit moves you, make a horrible drawing. You have to make a whole bunch of them. I’m sure the next one will be better.
It’s not always about the result but sometimes it’s about the process and the process can make us better people.
If we feel better about ourselves, aren't we are more likely happier, healthier and nicer to be around?
Wouldn’t that be nice?
Until next week, I wish you peace.
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