Learn, do, teach. I can’t remember where I first heard or read this. But I think about this from time to time.
When I feel stuck I remember to study something, then put it into practice, then check for understanding by teaching. It’s about telling a story that shows someone the path you took. It might not be the best path, but you are sharing that information freely with them.
I recently went thru this cycle. I saw some amazing artwork online a little while back from an upcoming book called “To the Sea” by Cale Atkinson (one of my new favorite artists) and I thought, I wish I could paint something like that. But I don’t work with paint, I’m actually afraid of it. I’ve never been good at it, I work in vector drawings.
The other day via Twitter I saw a post by the Cale inviting people to his Twitch.tv stream and I followed the link:
Just testing and fiddelling around. https://t.co/AoiEuMEGMX
— Cale Atkinson (@2dCale) December 7, 2015
I was sitting there watching him do a live digital painting. I was studying his strokes and the way he laid the digital paint down on the canvas. I wondered could I do something like that someday. (Step 1. Learn)
Well yesterday I was sketching out ideas for a 3rd Thursday prompt, I was posting to the forums and someone commented that they couldn’t wait to see it colored. I was thinking I was going to finish it in vectors. But I remembered Cale’s video and that he posted a replay which I could watch it over and over to learn from. (Step 1. Learn)
It’s essential that you don’t stop at Step 1. So I jumped into the digital painting void. 6 hours after downloading Affinity Photo ($49) I had a finished digital painting. The very first one I’ve ever done. I learned so much making it and watching Cale’s video and still have so much more to learn but I’m so happy that I put my learning into practice. (Step 2. Do)
As I was working on the drawing I kept posting the sketches and progress I was making. I hope it was enough to teach/encourage someone to give digital painting (or something else they’ve been afraid of) a try. (Step 3. Teach)
And here’s the final painting:
Now it’s time to keep learning, practicing, and teaching. (Step 4. Repeat)
Watch the book trailer for Cale Atkinson’s To The Sea