Thursday, January 17, 2013

Trial by Fire (Become a Better Artist Part 4)

OK... I recommend this book to way too many people. Scratch that, everyone should have this book, so that's impossible.

This book is massively helpful for anyone who wants to understand color and how it works. Beginners, pros, grandmas, this book gave me an epiphany every page.

Gurney is the boss, and at ~$17 dollars there is no excuse to not have this book.  Color and Light

(This is the Third article based on a previous post Become a Better Artist Overnight, Which I recommend you read first. So, let's continue shall we?)

Last week we covered prepping your brain for input, now the fun stuff... 5. Make mistakes (or start your Practice) and don't forget to 6. Try again. But First... take a deep breath and tell yourself, "I am person who learns from my mistakes." Next, believe it!

5. Make mistakes (you can do it!)

This can be one of the hardest steps, but nothing beats getting to the end knowing it will help you learn faster. I'm sure you are no stranger to the saying, "Learn From Your Mistakes," but you may not have heard anyone tell you to take that and run with it. It may seem counter intuitive to do things wrong the first time, but I have reason to suspect that it's one of the more important steps to learning something.

When you learn something the right way there's inevitably a moment when things go awry. What happens now? What actually happens is you don't have the answer. The human mind needs some hard knocks to give meaning to why we do things. Also to teach you when to recognize a mistake, how to get out of a mistake, or to gather questions on what else you might need to learn.

Doing it right the first time is a memory game; making mistakes the first time is a life lesson. Try to cultivate these experiences. They give you so much more than just following instructions.

So, how do you make a mistake on purpose? Well, when you learn something new, dive right in and give it a try. I trust your clumsy noob nature will expose you all sorts of delicious mistake morsels.

6. Try again (You will do it!)

This stage is all about looking or that "Ah HA!" moment. At this point you've given the technique, style, program, or whatever a try and now your feeling battered and bruised. Take a breather, drink some coffee, go for a walk, and get ready to dive back in. This time you're looking for what you're doing wrong.

Re-read/view the lesson and pay close attention to things you missed.  Branch out and look up advice online, from a teacher, or mentor. You want that "Yes! That's it!" fix. This is the seminal moment in your development. Take that fresh understanding and try to apply it at least once. If you don't get it, that's fine. There's always tomorrow and you've done so much already, don' hurt yourself.

Next week I cover how Sleep plays an important roll in your learning...

And it's pretty cool.


  1. Thanks for these posts Garret really enjoying the read, definitely giving me an insight into good learning techniques, thankyou!
    I'm gonna grab myself a load of good ink pens and try and ween myself to make less mistakes cause i use a rubber a whole lot and that needs to change!
    Thanks again!