I often have people ask me how I learned so much about papercrafting. I credit my father, who was a professional artist and he encouraged creativity for all his children, I credit my education in art and graphic design, and my years of working in the printing and publishing industry.
However, I was a total newbie when I first discovered stamping and scrapbooking.
I bought some stamps, inks and papers, and I sat down and made stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Some of my projects turned out lovely, lots of them were so-so, and lots ended up in the trash.
If you’re looking to improve your skills, do some research and learn from others, but don’t spend all your time on Pinterest and youtube… get your hands inky and don’t be afraid to make a mess!
I recently ran across this story, which sums up my beliefs perfectly….
A pottery teacher split her class into two halves.
To the first half, she said, “You will spend the semester studying pottery, planning, designing, and creating your perfect pot. At the end of the semester, there will be a competition to see whose pot is the best.”
To the other half she said, “You will spend your semester making lots of pots. Your grade will be based on the number of completed pots you finish. At the end of the semester, you’ll also have the opportunity to enter your best pot into a competition.”
The first half of the class threw themselves into their research, planning, and design. Then they set about creating their one, perfect pot for the competition.
The second half of the class immediately grabbed fistfulls of clay and started churning out pots. They made big ones, small ones, simple ones and intricate ones. Their muscles ached for weeks as they gained the strength needed to throw so many pots.
At the end of the class, both halves were invited to enter their most perfect pot into the competition. Once the votes were counted, all of the best pots came from the students that were tasked with quantity. The practice they gained made them significantly better potters than the planners on a quest for a single, perfect pot.
In life, the best way to learn a skill, is to make lots of pots.