As a creative, do you really have to learn and practice everyday? Doesn’t it sound too overrated?
I don’t know the right answer to that, but if there’s one thing in my art biz that I am spending a lot of money & time for, it’s got to be self-education. Why?
While I sometimes think I could have used my money to ‘buy myself a new handbag’ (can’t even remember the last time I treated myself to one) or pay for another holiday travel (another hobby of mine), I always believe that the greatest investment I will ever make, not only for my art but also for myself is really through constant self-education.
I have created quite a strict & non-negotiable weekly schedule for myself, and although I am very busy being a one woman show in my biz, I make sure I use my free time in between breaks, at night and the weekend to learn and practice.
I am quite addicted to books, dvds, online courses and reference materials to further my craft. I don’t even want to think about the amount of money I spend just to experiment on different tools for the trade.
So why do I practice everyday, you ask. For other artists or creatives reading this, I do it :
1. To become an expert in my field.
I don’t want to come out sounding egoistic, and although I still have a long long way to go before I can say I have achieved complete mastery in my craft, I believe that my strive to keep on learning something new and practicing everyday has made me knowledgeable and skilful in what I do.
2. To cutback my work time.
It used to take me between 7-8hrs to complete one detailed illustration. Sketching takes me a good 1 hour to do and the longest time is spent painting or colouring. For my sculpture work, I needed two weeks to complete a piece. Now I can do it in five days.
I believe the process has become second nature to me through constant practice, but the biggest take-away is adapting different & useful techniques that will not only improve my art but also reduce my working time to complete a piece. It frees up my schedule to do other things that are also important for my business such as marketing, writing, updating the website and some admin work.
3. My clients deserve the best.
I also feel that I owe it to my clients to get their money’s worth through quality work. It’s a competitive market and the fact that they trust me to do the work, I think it’s my responsibility to go above and beyond and ensure my client’s 100% satisfaction.
4. It’s my passion.
My passion for art is the reason why I started this business. As a creative person, I need to constantly quench my thirst to create something new. Learning and practicing art, for me, is not a task. It is therapy in the highest form. For me, discovering new techniques is like finding gold.As every thread of gold is valuable, so is every moment of my time spent perfecting my art.
When you combine passion & dedication and when you invest time, effort and money for something, you’ll produce results that will mean everything.
Practice makes progress but perfect practice makes it perfect!