UNCHARTED: Part One

uncharted

 

Growing up, I always loved to draw, paint and make crafts, but I did those as a hobby. The journey towards being paid for doing what I love started in 2005. It was during my pre-senior secondary school break that I first used a computer for design during a month-long stint at a graphic design company. Since then, I have logged in hours of personal/online training, as well as individual and collaborative professional work in the more than 11 years that have followed.

Why am I saying this in the middle of August? It’s not as if this day or month marks any special anniversary (though this month, I registered studio13:52 at the DBA as well as opened shop on Upwork).

Well, you will figure out the answer on your own.

It’s said that you need at least 10,000 hours of practicing a craft to become an expert of some significance. That’s about ten years (if you practice three hours daily). Though I am a professional graphic designer with 11 plus years behind, I perceive myself to be only starting.

As I take contracts in my local county, from my home country or across continents on Upwork, I realize that many years behind me does not nullify the need to continue to learn with the right tools and make the right connections in the ever-evolving creative world. The next challenge after establishing basics is to keep evolving to stay on top of my game.

While Studio 13:52 moves into an uncharted territory (you will hear soon), with the horizon promising endless possibilities, one thing is certain – I am committed to delivering inspired imaginations (That’s some marketing there!).

Am I good? Maybe a little bit.

Do I know all there is to design? Absolutely not!

So to practice and evolve, I must – today, tomorrow and the day after.

Even so, it’s not ten thousand hours of energy in all directions. It’s focused, repetitive, coordinated practice in the direction of a meaningful passion. With an assurance of God’s blessing on my endeavor (key point!), time and concerted effort is needed.

Interestingly, this pretty much applies to my faith, writing, relationships, career, vocation, ministry, family life and every other thing in-between.

Maybe yours too, if you think about this.

I’ll write more soon.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi

I wish life had a “pre-living” licence test

New-Girl-Cartoon

Relief.

That’s what I felt when I passed my driving test and was approved for a license.

To get a license in Texas, you need to go through a driver education course (ages 18-24), a written and road test. The “drivers Ed” and the written was easy – I aced it. But the road test was the real thing: Your performance behind the wheel (beside the examiner) determines if you have learnt.

I was initially intimidated by the highly organized road network and didn’t quickly get used to the many signals and road signs – that told on my confidence behind the wheel

I failed the first time.

Next trial: I failed. Because I drove on the center lane at a back street. The road marks were faded though, and I couldn’t see them well, but that wasn’t enough excuse.

Though I added this to my prayer list, I re-reviewed the driver’s handbook to see my errors, and had one more month to drive before the next road test.

I passed on my third trial.

And I resisted the urge to pose with my license in a selfie!

LOL! I am too old for that, right?

Okay, I know it took me a little too long but don’t laugh at me.

“I know how to drive” you might argue. But everyone who has passed through this process know what I’m talking about.

Of course, anyone can pick a car and rev it!

But you know, most accidents are as a result of crude driving. Fine details like checking your blind spot for cars hidden from your field of vision, parallel parking, proper signaling and observation might be the thin line between an accident and joyful ride.

It’s really not a piece of cake.

I thought I knew how to drive too. I’ve been driving in Nigeria since 2011. I was “professional” and careful. But the process of license testing showed that I hadn’t mastered some of the skills of defensive driving – driving safely as well as driving safely away from drunk drivers and poorly trained drivers.

I remember my post on pilots and drivers. (you can read it here)

Unlike most drivers, Pilots are thoroughly trained, frequently retested and are dedicated to the flying business without distractions. Most drivers are inadequately trained, never retested and are heavily distracted (phones, grooming, food, etc.) Every single day, I pass by accident scenes to and from work.

The tests primed me for the road. I learnt observation, positioning and signaling – three things important to prevent an accident, causing yourself or others bodily injury.

And I decided that, regardless of what others did after securing a license, I will drive safely.

This experience taught me a few things about life.

Life is pretty much like a journey through uncharted terrain and every one I’ve ever met wants to have a wonderful ride. With fewest tickets and accidents.

I do too.

But you know, unlike driving, life doesn’t have a pre-living license testing.

I wish it did.

But No, you just have to live. No one bosses you around. You have to apply yourself to the lessons of life.

Pity. If you haven’t learnt how to live.

We all need a guide. And someone has offered – Jesus. And freely.

Jesus said,

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

Connect to Him today.

Let him thoroughly teach and guide you as you live. Spend time in His word, and time talking to Him. And as you live, he teaches you, you learn, grow and shine…

And this amazing cycle continues…

With Him, there will be drunk drivers and accidents around you but you’ll never crash. Guaranteed! You will rather be the one to help them to safety.

Moral of the story: Life has no pre-living license test. It has a little margin for fatal errors. Live it right the first time. Live it with Jesus.

Any thoughts? Throw me some comments below.

Cheers,

Toluwanimi