"The 10,000-Hour Rule" for Art? / by Jeannine Cook

I was reading a piece by Malcolm Gladwell (www.gladwell.com) about the "10,000 Hour Rule" talked about by scientists. Gladwell, author of the bestsellers Tipping Point and Blink, has also written about the secrets of successful people in his recent book, Outliers: the Story of Success. The 10,000 hours in question are linked, it seems, to achieving success in no matter what field. Whether it is writing, computer programming, composing music or creating art, it apparently applies.

I deduce a simple, forceful message for artists from this: no matter what your medium, practice, practice, practice.... You may or may not initially have huge artistic talent, but the message is that if you apply yourself intelligently and diligently to creating art, you can and will become a better artist. I find that both challenging and encouraging. The "Painting a Day" movement is really a marvellous step towards this concept, and one all artists should try and embrace, even if the results are not put on the Web. All the artists one sees going around in public spaces, a drawing book in hand, or quickly catching some scene with deft lines, are doing themselves a huge favour too.

Now that I have publicly reminded myself what I should be doing this very moment, I must be off to do... some silverpoint drawing!