If you have access to Netflix or Netflix streaming, this week's homework is simple: watch the documentary "Tiny". Though the movie focuses on a man building his own 200 sq. ft. house from scratch, it's his approach that really had an effect on me. If you're feeling overwhelmed by learning to paint, or it seems the odds are stacked against you , "Tiny" is the perfect remedy.
Christopher wanted to build his own house. He made this decision based on passion and determination, but very little else. Setting aside a single summer for his project, he aimed to create a ~200 sq. ft. 'tiny house' with no savings or construction experience. My initial reaction to his plan was "this guy's an idiot". Regardless of my apprehension, Christopher buys a stack of lumber and a trailer - and the project begins.
The Learning Process
Without any teachers or guides, Christopher needed to teach himself all of the necessary skills to tackle his challenge. The initial plan was cobbled together from information found on blogs, and everything else was a matter of 'learning on the job'. Electrical work? No problem, there's a YouTube video for that. It's impossible not to smile while christopher follows youtube instructions on his phone- snipping wires and plumbing his tiny house in the Colorado countryside. Christopher's true skill wasn't excellent carpentry, but a willingness to learn. Each roadblock required him to slow down, learn a new skill, or invent his own solution.
Then Things Go Wrong
When it's clear that three months isn't going to be enough time, the project takes on a very different tone. The weather gets bad, his money runs out, and everything stops being fun. But he doesn't give up. Through a combination of determination and creativity, Christopher manages to finish the house. It took a year to do it, but it worked.
What's Your "Tiny House"?
If you're learning to digital paint, it's a long and hard road. You probably won't have a teacher, and won't have the ideal tools. When roadblocks happen, you probably won't have a mentor to guide or comfort you. It's unlikely that you'll be ready to submit your portfolio professionally as soon as you'd like. You'll have hundreds of 'bad drawing days' along the way. The big question, though, is "will you give up?" Like building a house with your bare hands, art isn't easy - but it's absolutely worth the hard work. What are you waiting for?