Practice makes perfect… I think not!
What do you think?
I’m no fan of that phrase or thinking.
- What kind of practice?
- Why do I need to make it perfect?
Perhaps a little context is needed here… I’m not a heart surgeon or a rocket scientist for NASA. If I were in either of those fields or a variety of others, then perfectionism might be a worthy trait… not so much in my work as a visual practitioner. Let me tell you how this plays out for me and then I hope you’ll let me know what you think.
I create visuals to teach people how to draw, capture course content (as a learner), make templates for my books and participants, and record presentations of conference speakers. Sharpening my skills through learning new techniques or taking a deeper dive into my existing technique is exciting to me. I always strive to do my best work, and for me, that means,
Persistent, consistent, and conscious practice makes progress
For me, being consistent and aware in my practice — looking at each time I take a stroke or make my favorite figure or create a layout, this is what leads to improving the quality of my work, increasing my speed.
In our bikablo training there’s a particular stroke for making two types of shadows that takes a good deal of practice for folks. And while I suggest that my students repeat the stroke A LOT—while in meetings or on hold on the phone or at other opportunities, I remind them to make each stroke consciously and learn from it.
What worked well? What needs work?
What are the elements to the experience and what needs to be fine-tuned—is it the position of the pen, the beginning, middle, and/or end of the stroke, the way they are holding their wrist?
How do you plan for improving/strengthening your technique and your work? What conscious practices do you consistently embrace to hone your craft? I have a colleague who is FABULOUS at blending pastels… Just below is an example of my playing/experimenting with pastels and learning the technique that gives me the results that I seek.
I find that placing myself in a learning context for improvement is the biggest boost I can give my skills. And while I can’t take classes every week, I can choose wisely from the existing opportunities, so that I continue to grow.
What does your professional development plan include? What courses, books, study groups, 1:1 coaching or other means are you using to continue your journey?
For those of you who have taken a bikablo class and are seeking to deepen your skills, the E-xtraklasse, a ten-session Small group coaching journey offers … The journey begins in September… you can learn more about it here or get In touch with me.
If 1:1 coaching for a project or a series of sessions is more your appetite, let’s have a conversation!
Whatever options you choose to level up your performance, I say,
Be persistent, consistent, and conscious in your practice!