I read an article not too long ago that stated that to be an expert at any one thing you had to consciously practice it for at least 10,000 hours; at first this seemed reasonable until it was broken down into how long that is. If you are (at the completely optimistic end of the scale) completing 80 hours a week of deliberate practice it will take you 2.4 years to become an expert. Where as if you are (more reasonably) taking on 20 hours a week of deliberate practice it will take you 9.6 years to become and expert. I was instantly overwhelmed at this knowledge; it was a similar feeling to when I realised that to be a great designer was to have a knowledge of everything. Looking at all that I have read and learnt alongside all I want to learn and read seems incredibly insignificant against the knowledge of all I will have to learn and read to be truly good at my field.
Although daunted I kept reading and came across the section on how to cheat this allotted hours; things you could do to speed along the process. Upon reading this one idea really struck home and I realised that this is what I had been missing this year.
“Surround yourself with like minded individuals.”
I spend all this time trying to absorb new information, reading exciting books or articles, viewing new projects online, visiting exhibitions and talks but every single time alone. Alone with my own thoughts and opinions with no one to question or discuss. I actually miss that moment when you end up in a heated discussion with someone about a certain building or piece of art that you have differing opinions on. That chance to draw on all your internal references dueling with your wit hoping to be the victor or to be suitably proven wrong.
This isn’t the only aspect that I feel I am missing out on by not having more people as interested in art and design as I am. Having people in your social circles that have similar interests to you means that you have a greater chance of hearing about new events or exhibits that you would like to attend and then of course having someone to go with.
More than anything I miss having the opportunity to talk to like minded people about my ideas or theories, to hear their opinions and maybe learn something new.
If you see something you like why not follow me on Twitter @Nat_Tily or on Pintrest http://pinterest.com/nattily/
Alternatively if you are in a similar position to me and need a like minded person why not comment so we can get in touch and get a discussion going!