It all started with the question. “Can you draw me?”
“Yes. I can.” I replied, then as she posed, I took a picture, opened my iPad pro and put the apple pencil to use. What no one knew was that this was my first attempt at digital portraiture. Everything I did before then was non-realism. But I took the challenge.
It turned out to be a beautiful piece, that didn’t look exactly like the subject. But I am okay with that because of what I’m learning.
Every day, I marvel when my creative friends and mentors post images on social media showing their artistic learning process via micro-skill studies and I admire their willingness to spend many hours studying line, light and shadow, design, shapes, concepts, perspective, color, value, composition, how to draw the eyes, the ears, the hands, dinosaurs and dragons, and automobiles.
I admire it, but the patience to study elemental structures that necessarily will not lead to a complete painting doesn’t come easily to me. Maybe it is because I never went to art school, so didn’t know how to persevere with these drills like many of my art school-educated friends. Maybe it’s pride that accompanies the perception of giftedness. I do not know.
However, in the wake of the current phase of my creative journey, I realized the importance of creative diligence, discipline, and intentionality, and this post earmarks my acceptance of the importance of this.
I’m quick to pride myself as a self-taught artist when it’s time to take the glory, but I realize that art school or not, the principle of the practice of intentional creative diligence will set you apart in your craft.
Practice. Not just mere practice but a deliberate practice of the micro-skills and drills in specific elements of a good illustration, including master studies and reiterations. And as you practice, share your progress for accountability.
The more you do, the better you get at it. Practice. Get a little better every day. This is what I invite you to join me to do.
Wait, is this only about art? No. It extends to all life.
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
The more you intentional practice the principles of your profession or chosen endeavor, the better you are at it. And asides from the creative life or professional career, I think this pretty much sums up spiritual growth – as you grow deeper in your faith, and practice of its divine elements, you will increasingly grow into Jesus’ likeness.
I’ve started. I invite you to join me.
On the uncharted terrain,