Monday, March 30, 2009

Motivation Monday

Become a passionate pursuer of knowledge.

Do you have the knowledge you need in order to make your dreams come true? Last week, I asked you to define your ideal employee. Probably one of the characteristics of your ideal employee is that they would be someone who possessed the knowledge, information, training or education needed to allow them to perform their job function well. So let me ask you, how well trained are you for the jobs you need to do?

Perhaps you feel that your progress towards your goals is stalled because you don't know how to do something. Let me encourage you to start seeking the information you need. The good news is that there are many ways to obtain knowledge.

First of all, clearly define what you need to know, then prioritize. For example you don't need to know where to get great giclee reproductions done when you don't have work ready to reproduce. Don't become overwhelmed by everything you don't know. Ask yourself "What do I need to know now?"

While learning by doing is great, don't fall into the trap of having to reinvent the wheel. Many artists end up frustrated when they paint and paint and their art work doesn't seem to improve. What artists often need at that point is new knowledge. Instead of just mastering how to get the pigment onto the surface, perhaps you need to explore colour (temperature, intensity, hue, relationships). You could study hard and soft edges and how to see value changes. Perhaps you need to study more about composition. Maybe you don't need to learn something entirely new, perhaps you just need to refresh what you have already learned.

So whether you have decided to learn how to take better reference photos, or decided to find out where to get a great brochure produced, or you have decided to learn more about the painting process, there are many resources available. You could consider enrolling in a course, you could do research online or you could sign out books from your library. Ask other artists what workshops or books they would recommend. Perhaps you have some books on a shelf waiting to be read! Once you have acquired new knowledge, apply it. You have to go beyond reading a book or taking a course. In order to benefit from what you know, start using this knowledge. You will experience the joy of becoming better at your craft.

The amazing thing is that in the process of learning and acquiring the knowledge you want to have, you will find that your motivation is strengthened and your enthusiasm grows. We exchange the frustration of not knowing how to do something for the satisfaction of mastering new skills.

As we pursue our dreams, all of us find ourselves having to learn new things. Embrace learning. Seek knowledge. Successful people are people who are willing to grow and learn new things. So stir up you passion and start pursuing knowledge...


Laure Ferlita said...

Lovely post. One of the major keys for me is to apply the new knowledge immediately (before I lose it) and to apply it often until it sticks with me.

One thing I am curious about is where balance comes in - you're trying to be an artist and produce artwork, a business person, a marketing person, and you need to be a student as well. And this is the short list! How do we balance it ALL? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Laure Ferlita said...

Should have used we - we're trying to an artist, etc.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Laure, you are so right - applying the knowledge sooner rather than later and keeping at it until it sticks is exactly what it takes!

Humm...balancing it all. It is easy to feel overwhelmed isn't it? I do have a few thoughts that might help. How about I respond to this question in next Monday's motivation post? Not everyone reads the comment section and I am sure others struggle with balance too.

Thanks for reading the post and thanks for your comment!

Anita said...

I am a knowledge addict - knowledge is power! I used to love research in University both as a student and when I was a lecturer. I love the way one thing leads to another and before you know it you are a million miles from where you started from but so much information has been absorbed along the way!
Great post!