Shoot for the stars
Okay, so if you guys didn't know, I'm currently animating, directing, and voice acting in my first ever cartoon episode. That's right, I've never done this before! Yet I'm taking it quite ambitiously and choosing to set a really really high goal for myself: To make the front page of Newgrounds.com on my first upload.
To be totally honest, I don't draw that often. I've only dabbled in Flash ( a software for animation and multimedia creation ), and voice acting let's just say isn't my forte. How do I expect to accomplish such a feat, then?
Well, I've already done the first thing. I've set such a ridiculously ambitious goal that people much more experienced in the field than I would laugh at me for, but since I don't care about that stuff (what others think ), I've been focusing my energies into figuring out what worked for people in the past. And I realized for the most part that quality matters. Sadly for me, (if you think so), this means I will be spending much more time trying to refine my drawings over and over again until I deem them "good enough". Throughout this process, however, I am getting really good ridiculously fast at drawing and animating, and learning a hell-of-alot about the entire directional process.
So let's take this idea and understand it fully. What is going on?
Well I'm a "noob", I'll admit it, and if you're just jumping into deep, unfamiliar waters too, then you're also a "noob". It's no biggy. What's cool is that when you're in deep water, you learn to swim much quicker than paddling around with water-wingies in the shallow end. When necessity arises, it's do or die. It's that concept that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and since most of our endeavors and skills that we'd like to develop aren't really life and death scenarios (right?), we don't really have much to worry about.
By setting extremely high standards of myself, I assume a role that has absolutely no support to draw from. Therefore I'm training my creative, perceptive, and artistic muscles in my brain entirely, ones that have been completely dormant (or nonexistent ) for a long time. This do or die pressure forces my brain to stimulate those parts of my mind so as to adapt as quickly as possible, thus giving me rapid growth.
So how do you get good at something? Don't take baby steps. I don't believe in baby steps, I believe in trying and failing (or succeeding), and trying and failing and trying and failing, until you get it right. This way, no matter what you do, you will develop your own unique strategies for doing things that no one else possesses, and once you master those (with time), you will become a guru of your own accord. This is inevitable, and it's what makes being a human, artist, and innovator so rewarding. If everyone applied this experiential training to their lives, we would have a cornucopia of Benjamin Franklins, Albert Einsteins, and Che Guevaras populating the world (except not. You know what I mean). The world would be amazing, because everyone would perceive it differently, and completely independently of every one else.
Any way, long story short, want to get good at something really fast? Go out and do it. Do it and do it hard, and do it over and over again until you accomplish your ultimate goal. It's a quicker and more effective path than taking the baby steps.
If you shoot for the stars, you'll at least land on mountains. Then the stars are much much closer.