Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rolling Hills, Not Rockets

Sketched on 2/27/12, #6, "C", F-C Big Brush
One of the most annoying and frustrating things about learning a new skill is that my progress is not progressive or incremental over time. When I was working on 100 self-portraits, I would draw several that seemed better than the previous several, but then I would draw many that seemed worse than earlier efforts. Now with my 100 hands, I’m finding the same uneven progress: A few good ones, a few significantly better ones, then definitely a bunch of lame ones followed again by some improvement. I want a straight upward trajectory, not a horizon of gently rolling hills.

That this (most likely common) frustration is even coming to light for me now, at the age of 53, must mean that I haven’t spent enough time in my life learning new skills, at least the kind in which progress is easily apparent. When I think of the decades I spent in school and then in the workplace, I’m assuming I learned a few things, and I’m also assuming my progress was made in the up-and-down manner of rolling hills rather than a rocket. But it didn’t feel frustrating in the same way because my increasing smartness wasn’t apparent.
Sketched on 3/12/12, #38, Akashiya Sai brush pen

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