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Artists, Mastering your craft 10,000 hours from Malcolm Gladwell new book

Artists, Mastering your craft 10,000 hours from Malcolm Gladwell new book.

If you focus on practicing your craft drawing and painting for 100,000 hours, what could you become?
I know I have not yet arrive that that was an on off for me. Now I have to reconsider my schedule and focus more on my craft. This art blog help me stay on course immensely, and some day I hope hard work pays off. :)

I just read this book by Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Highly recommended!!!

In the first chapter (section), he talk about 10,000 hours that takes someone to be a master of of her trade. He mention Bill Gates, Mozart, etc.

His premise is that there are (at least?) two different kinds of geniuses, one is the type who may arrive at genius via an incredible inimitable moment of inspiration, another is someone who's very smart and arrives at genius after years of focused study. 10,000 hours mastery theory.

Gladwell suggested that studies show 10,000 hours of focused study is what's needed to become a master of something. And this translates to about ten years (actually 11.5, but thereabouts).

This makes a lot of sense to me and gives an interesting fixed boundary to work with. If you start drawing and painting seriously at 16 (four to eight hours a day), and stay there for ten years, at 26 you should be a master. And filmmakers and artists who start at 20, may hit their stride at 30. And of course you can accelerate or slow down the process according to how much you want to focus. And it highlights how you inhibit your potential in one field by spreading yourself across many fields. The phrase "jack of all trades, master of none" speaks directly to this 10,000 hours theory.

Anyway, the book is pretty long but the particular chapter was interesting to me and related to our field so I thought I would share it with you guys.

Summery of the book:
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from... *The Outliers* (out this week) focuses on success and the hard work, social context and cultural background that explains why some people excel and others don’t. He has a related article in The New Yorker on genius (trivia note: a related post of his on this topic was rejected a long time ago by the New Yorker). Gladwell’s new book seems better at explaining the success of some than in its prescriptions for how to get others to succeed and so on.

Good luck to us all with 10,000 hours. Let me know what your thought are on this post. :)

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** If you have any basic questions or specific please looked up Q/A section. Most of the time your questions has already been answered in Q/A.

If you need any help or support you can
-post questions or comment on the post (seems to be the fastest way to get response)


David said…
Sounds like a good book. I'm guilty of being a jack of all trades, master of none, because I'm a 3D artist. I'm starting to learn how to draw again, and I'm learning to play piano too. It's very hard to keep up with everything, but my job comes first, so art, then piano :) but there's things that we can't really control because there are many things we all want to do.
pokepetter said…
Interesting. I think it depends on how you spend the hours.

I can't say I'm counting.
Luca said…
Ah passing 100,000 hours of drawing... never thaught about that! It's cool!

David>> I can really understand you, I also have to keep up with SOO MANY things. The good... or bad thing is that currently I'm not working :!

So I have more time to practice. Dedicate your time seriously... I remember when I learned piano too :)

Anyways nice post Xia -- Thanks!

Chris said…
I agree and disagree with this.

Of course it's important to practice whatever your subject/medium is. The more you practice it the better you'll get, but at the same time it helps to look at all sorts of creative work by others, and sometimes a piece you are working on might turn out better if it were made as a scultpure or print etc instead.

But I suppose that's different if you work as something like a concept artist or carpenter.

I could come up with a better argument but there's a pitta bread filled with falafel staring at me. I'm hungry.

How many years have you been training Xia?
blackpawn said…
the 100,000 hours theory definitely makes sense to me. it sounds like a very interesting book, going to pick it up and read it now. :)
XIA said…
David> It's a very good book though it's very exciting in the first half, it's very dry in the later half. I still recommend it though.
I know what you mean, technology change all the time also. But whatever you are passionate about pursue it and pursue it til the end.

Pokepetter> There is no need to, you loose track of time when you are really into something because of the joy of doing it. :)

Luca> Sorry bro, it's my bad's actually 10,000 hours. The more practice, the more insight you will have.

Chris> I can see where you coming from. May be I didn't explain it right as it states in the book. there are more meat in the book than I could say. The dude also wrote "The Tipping point" and "The world is Flat" Both are, IMO, better books. He's one of my fav thought leader in the coming age.
You will like the book I think. Peace Bro.

BlackPawn> Yes! great idea. Let me know if you like it. I would also recommend :the Tipping point and the world is flat.