Fish, Wisp, Bulky and Radio

Savoring those proverbial 10,000 hours.* Below are the first four prompts for Inktober.

1) Fish or specifically a sheepshead fish, which — fun fact — has human teeth.

*Okay it’s not from a proverb but from this guy in 1991… and I’m using it more as a metaphor than as a literal goal.

2) Wisp — I had to be careful not to do more automatic drawing (because it’s too easy) and the first thing I thought of was smoke. So I googled “smoke” and got a really good image from National Geographic

3) Bulky and (4) Radio are also based on images I found online.

Not much to note except that I was using a micron pen on pages from a paperblanks journal (120 gsm) and there was no bleed through… which might seem like an all around pro (as opposed to con) but it also does not go on smooth when you are coloring in large blocks of color. (See (4) Radio) It can also be erased or get faded by simply running an eraser over it, so I think it has a way of sitting on top of the page more than other pens.

Getting back to the 10,000 hour rule. It was popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his book, Outliers (2008), which looks at how certain individuals who have reached high levels of success.

It has sold as well as it has because, I believe, we like to think of how far human beings can go. We like to look at our own ingenuity. Outliers also tries to de-mystify the idea of “genius.” Or the idea that one is born with one’s abilities to reach the level of grand master in chess, for example. There are many other factors that play a role in one’s success than natural aptitude.

My take away:

There’s an emphasis on “deliberate practice.” Meaning the more efficient you are in your studies, the further you will progress in the same amount of time.

There’s a Ted Talk that comes to mind: The Habits of Effective Artists by Andrew Price. He mentions Mozart and Beethoven and how the greater volume of works each produced in a five year period, the greater the odds of one creating a “hit.” Instead of spending so much time one one work, from which you’ve learned nearly all you can from the process of creating that one work, you should allow yourself to move on to another work, for the sake of expediting the development of one’s skills.

Price also talks about how art classes and online tutorials had helped him. You can work on your own stuff, waiting for your own epiphany. But what if you get stuck while trying to complete something of your own and all it takes is somebody pointing out to you a solution to a rudimentary problem?

Personally, I may be getting ahead of myself in some of the works I’ve been trying to complete. It’s humbling, but it may be as simple as developing a better eye for perspective.

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