I have this amazing friend. She’s like the letterer of letterers. (Apologies for using like in that capacity, but I needed it for emphasis.) She’s so good at lettering, she makes it look easy. Effortless. And I fall prey to thinking I can do it, too.
So I’ll grab a pen, or a calligraphy nib, or a brush marker, and sit down. With my hand carefully poised over paper, I’ll take a deep breath, and then, write.
But what comes so fluidly to her does not come fluidly to me. I’ll finish writing a word, pick up my pen, and inspect my work. My lines are not smooth. The angles are not graceful. The curves are awkward.
My hand is not as steady as hers, and I wonder why.
With a background and art and design, I’ve spent a great deal of time analyzing the subtleties of rooms, color, spacing, and line. Nuances matter. And it’s hard to teach nuances. It’s hard to teach design because so much of it comes down to instinct and intuition.
And while you can train the eye to appreciate what is good about art and color and space and line, it’s much, much, much harder to teach someone how to execute it beautifully.
Beautiful execution (Monet, Van Gogh, Bach, Beethoven) comes only with focused, passionate (and often thankless) practice that builds the confidence that eliminates a shaky hand.
If you want to make money off your passion, be prepared to put in the 10,000 hours.