Monday, February 24, 2014

Practice really does make perfect

I shared this last night on my facebook page and it seems to have struck a chord with many people. It certainly struck a chord with me.

So please enjoy Ira Glass' advice on perfecting your craft, especially good advice for beginners. The video below was put together by Daniel Sax.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You've just gotta fight your way through.” 
Ira Glass

I so agree with this sentiment: when people say that I'm talented, I say "thanks but really, I'm just practiced."

I'm off now to do more practice - practice, paint, experiment, read, learn and do.

Keep on painting!

Fiona xx


  1. Hi Fiona. I have been reading your blog for a while and have never commented. Sorry for that! I should have told you that you do an amazing job and I am blown away by how you transform your pieces. I have tried a few things lately (mostly orange pine things) and am getting better with practice. Following your advice has really helped particularly on my recent chest of drawers for my niece. I wanted them to be perfect and decided I would use all your wisdom (from colour selection - Whisper White) to adding Floetrol to my paint to make the finish better and will follow your advice to finish it off. It is coming along beautifully!! Thanks again!! Cheers, Kelly

    1. thank you so much Kelly, I really appreciate the time you have taken to comment, and I'm so glad to have been able to assist you. Isn't whisper white lovely! good luck with the finish and I would love to see a photo. Fiona x

  2. hola Fiona todo lo que tu pintas es hemoso maravilloso tienes arte en tus manos no se escribir en ingles pero si lo entiendo al leerlo y al oirlo , sera comico pero es la verdad o quizas tengo un poco de temor cometer errores, yo quisiera saber si el product floetrol se puede usar con cualquier clase de pinturas, gracias y siento escribirte en mi idioma tu me puedes contester en ingles que lo entendere gracias Nelly

    1. hi Nelly
      thank you for the beautiful compliments. You can use Floetrol in any acrylic (waterbased) paint. For oil based paint you need the Penetrol product.
      hope that helps cheers fiona


  4. Hi Fiona,
    I have just copied, pasted and printed these most inspirational words. I wish I had read them a long time ago. Sometimes I get so stuck with my own criticism it is debilitating. But then after reading some of your posts I am inspired once again. You are an Angel you just don't have your wings.
    Love your work always have, always will. Off to stitch something right now.
    Warmest regards


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