A wise person once told me an artist is only as good as his craft. And in the competitive workforce of our time, I personally feel this statement does ring true. So how does one strive and make improve their skill? Just like a medieval swordsmith would slam beat after beat, and polish a steel ingot into a fine blade, just the same you need spend, hours beating on and perfecting your craft.
This logic strongly correlates with Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 – Hour Rule. Which states that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice will lead to world-class proficiency in any field/skill.
But with that in mind there is an inherent difference between working hard and smart. If we take the example of a visual artist, it would be quite easy for someone to spend 10,000 locked in a room and just draw/paint, and given enough time they very well could become exceptionally skilled. But we should also consider the alternative. Suppose thevisual artist, instead finds and seeks a mentor who is already master to teach them. Becoming the apprentice of a master and learning/acquiring skill exponentially faster.
To me, this is the difference between: working hard vs working smart, working blind vs working focused, working in the dark vs working in the light.
However, in the fast paced world of today, it’s a little difficult and a more than a little expensive to find a master to teach you in a 1-1 learning environment. That being said, a great alternative is a peer critiqued learning environment.
This is where for me (a digital artist) digital art forums are so useful. In these various forums there are industry professionals, old veterans, students, and up & comers. And they are all there with the same goal in mind. To put forth art into the community, give & receive valuable feedback, to stay inspired & focused, and to improve.
Below are a just a few of the digital art forums, I frequent. I highly recommend checking them out, and if you’re feeling inspired and have in mind the goal of artistic improvement I encourage you to create an account (it’s free) and start putting forth your best.
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