Learning a new creative skill can be hard - but it's ultimately rewarding to push through initial discomfort...
I've recently been learning new creative skills - for both business and enjoyment purposes. I wanted to change things up a bit and try something new - so I've revisited an old interest in papercutting and a design-style from a few years ago - and in doing so, found that I needed new skills!
I've had to negotiate a new 'state-of-the-art' cutting machine, that I'd had for two weeks before I learned that there was a handy cubby hole to store my tools! And that was just the start - there's the 'Design Space' on the computer that connects to the machine, new ways of using Adobe Illustrator to create my designs - even though I thought I was pretty familiar with the Illustrator software, I've discovered previously hidden depths to enliven my life and confuse my poor addled brain...
And new ways of working and thinking about my drawings - thinking about how the design might end up being used and tying myself in knots trying to work out which bits to cut and which bits to leave - and feeling disappointed when the eyes fell out of one of my first attempts!
To start with it was really hard - so hard that part of me wanted to give up and go back to what I felt comfortable with, even though this was something that I'd felt really enthusiastic about initially...
But I do know that learning curves can be steep - and it can sometimes feel like really hard going, especially if you haven't learned anything new for some time.
It felt like everything I tried to make looked rubbish - and I felt like I couldn't even remember how to do the things I did, actually, already know how to do - like drawing!
This is so common, though, when we're learning new skills - it can feel hard, and not like what we signed up to do, which is have fun and make pretty things!
As creative people, we have the imagination to see how we want our pieces to end up looking - and it's frustrating when our initial attempts often fall short. We can feel like we're failing...
But it's all just part of the process - part of learning and evolving our skills, learning new techniques and even new ways of seeing things or new ways of thinking sometimes...
It takes a while for the new skills to be learned and for us to feel comfortable with the new techniques - we just need to trust in the process of learning and allow for it to happen.
Soon, we will be enjoying our new skills and able to start making the creations that we picture in our mind's eye!
Soon, it turns from making all those inevitable beginner mistakes, to remembering to avoid the mistakes, doing things right, doing them better, and finally getting to put our own creative spin on our work as we start becoming more expert.
I actually love learning new things (aside from those ugly beginner stages) - and it feels great to acquire those new skills and be able to create things that I never knew were even a possibility previously!
If you'd like to start on your own learning journey to improve your own creative skills, I have a free drawing learning resource, plus self-study courses (in PDF format) for Essential Drawing Skills (to take you right from beginner to creating in your own style) and Colour & Composition for Artists - do take a look, if you think you might be interested in these.
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