The more I learn about the skills I want to master, the more hot garage my previous work becomes. This sounds like a negative, but I mean it in a positive sense. By seeing what great work looks like, I can learn to elevate my skills to match through practice.
If you’re any type of an artist, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Look at any of your art from ten, five, even one year ago and you might feel slightly appalled at the quality. That’s good — it means you are improving.
I equate this into seeing in higher and higher resolution.
First, you start out in black and white boob-tube. You kind of have an idea of what good work looks like, but you know you are not there yet. You have the basic outline of what you want to make, but you don’t know how to make it.
Then, you move to color. You read a book or take a classy. Or you just start fumbling around. You don’t know how to make it, but you are trying anyway. You take a step. Next, standard definition. You think your work is good. Others around you might think it’s good too. In fact, it is good… for just starting out. You stay in standard land for a while. You start with a 4:3 aspect ratio, but the more you work, the wider your view is getting.
Finally, one day you start seeing your work in High Def (aka HD). You have a greater understand of what you are doing and what you are capable of. You vision matches your work. Everything you did before HD looks a little bit weird and off. You can clearly see the seams of your abilities.
Somewhere in the middle of seeing in HD you come to realize that the resolution increase never ends. There’s always a next level. 4K. 8K. 16K… And just like resolution in real life, the quality is certainly noticeable, but it’s also subtle. Anyone who doesn’t do what you do might not even notice, or they might notice and prefer it, but they don’t have the vocabulary or ability to see what it is they are seeing.
Mastery is the constant act of seeing just beyond your abilities and figuring how to do it. Taste, talent and work.
Work is what get’s us there.
“The most important possible thing you can do is do a lot of work.”
This quote is from a fantastic interview by Ira Glass.
I’ll close with a film by storytelling Daniel Sax that illustrates Glass’s insights:
I included the film last because it’s impossible to follow that up with better words.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner
Daily Blog #623