Christine W.

My feet have been dragging in direct proportion to how much work had to go into the self-analysis. Sigh. So, finally, looking at my skills, gaps, expectations of excellence. What I came away with was a convergence of ideas that have been coming at me from many different directions.

Many of the soft skills like teaching, technical writing, project management, public speaking I've already gotten to the point through my professional life where they are good enough. For the most part, any of the techniques I use I am already good enough at, just out of practice. There are only a couple of techniques I want to get better at, such as hand dyeing. Greater mastery of the skills will come as I plug away at my 10000 hrs and hone my own style.

The greatest gap is in the fundamentals - understanding and being able to effectively and intentionally apply design principles. Right now my focus is on understanding composition, which I started not too long ago. I instinctively headed where my gap was but didn't understand it until I did this exercise. (FYI, see Blender Guru, Understanding Composition on YouTube. And excellent starting place for anyone. He also has one on colour.)

What does excellence/perfection look like to me? A piece that is well designed, with balanced colour and composition. Where the technique is (appears) flawless and shows a mastery of the material. Where it is deceptive in the simplicity... the artist makes it look easy. Not there yet. I realized that I have achieved excellence in the past but not yet in my artwork. It is a great place to be.