10,000 hours

We are still on 'vacation' here in central Florida. I'm doing my very best impression of moving slowly and relaxing. We are spending our days at various theme parks and having lots of fun. I'm taking lots of pictures and filling many pages of my sketchbook along the way. After only two days I find my mind already full of ideas, and I'm more than a little itchy to get back to my studio so I can put them into form.

In the evenings I am reading some books. One of the books I am reading is called Brain Storm by Don Hahn. It is about unleashing the creativity in ourselves. In the book Don suggests we need to invest at least 10,000 hours into our passion to get good. It sounded like an awful lot of time until I did some simple math. Ten thousand hours is five work years (1000 days) of ten hour days. After doing my math I believe that this relatively short time is far too few hours than needed to master much of anything. It would be the equivalent to the time spent obtaining a masters degree at university. While one can certainly gather a lot of knowlege in that time, few would say one had become an expert in their field while obtaining their degree. The degree is but the starting point for the real hands-on knowlege and experience where one really gets good.

When I do my workshops I often hear the comment "I wish I could draw like you." I simply point to my shelf of more than forty full sketchbooks and suggest they fill as many. The reality is that I have filled many times that through the years. And while I draw fairly well I believe I have far, far to go. Ten thousand more hours would be a good start. You can bet I won't stop there.

-grampa dan