Patience for the Learning Curve

Sunflower and bee at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

Sunflower and bee at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

This is the essence of Rembrandt’s advice to Van Hoogstraten:
the authentic craft develops naturally from one’s own experience.
So, it seems reasonable to suggest that the search should not be for the lost secrets,
but for one’s own practice. This is in fact easy, you start making things.
At first they might not be perfect, but the information here
should provide you with a running start. And, if you are cut out for this
the learning curve will not be daunting, because you will realize that
you are finally headed in the right direction: towards the living craft.
― Tad Spurgeon (Tad is an artist – his website can be seen here)

Yesterday’s post mentioned that I got a bit snippy with my favorite boy toy as he was showing me some of his equipment to try out.

I left that comment in there, because it reflected the reality of the moment.  We’ve done much better at sharing a passion for photography (see my post here), but at times we conflict.

But as I nurture my creativity, I remind myself that the learning curve is frustrating.  No matter how intelligent I am, when something is new, there’s just a certain amount of fumbling and floundering that goes with it.  The concepts are tried and true, but don’t always make sense until I’ve done it and failed.

I’ve written about it here and here, but it’s apparently a lesson I need to keep reminding myself about.

I see this at work lately.  I’m training some new people to work on the state income tax returns.  They’re experienced and knowledgeable, just not in my area.  They feel overwhelmed because the software is so different than what they work with, the best practices are different, and of course, my management style is different than the person they report to.  It’s not good or bad, just different.

I keep reminding them that they’ve been exposed to the concepts for years simply as we interact together as a department.  But the first few returns – no matter how easy – will take a long time to get done.  The later returns will be much harder, but not take as long to prepare.

So when I get frustrated and feel like some of this photography will never make sense, it’s time to take a breath, relax, and give myself a break.  The technique will improve with time.  My role is to listen, absorb, and practice, practice, practice.  And of course, not snip at my favorite boy toy.

To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.

To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.