I do not consider myself artistic at all so when my friend Mark Biebuyck invited a group of us to dinner last week, I was surprised to find out we would be making artwork with pastels as part of the evening. Those of us that were there had no idea how this was going to turn out. Some of the comments ranged from, “no way!” to “I can’t do this!” However, we all were willing to give it a shot to see what we could come up with.
After dinner, we started by finding a picture that would provide the inspiration for our “masterpiece”. Our teacher, Loren Siffring (firstname.lastname@example.org), guided us through the process so we could begin. He has been doing this for almost 20 years and you could tell he had a talent and an ability to teach. Within the first hour, we each had the beginnings of something we all were going to proud of.
This continued for another 2 hours and as you can see from the picture above, my picture (on the right) was beginning to take shape. I actually couldn’t believe that I was creating this! After about another hour, my finished “masterpiece” was put in a frame and looked like this…
I walked you through all of this to share with you a couple of things. The first is a lesson we all were taught at an early age. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It can only provide you with a great learning opportunity and personal growth.
The second thing was a great reminder. Many of us are so busy and we try to do too many things at once. I know that is something I’m guilty of. When was the last time you sat down and focused in on a single task? Even as I write this blog post, I have Facebook open and the TV on. What I discovered when I was drawing, was that I only focused on that for 4 hours. No iPhone. No Facebook. No Twitter. Nothing except the easel that was in front of me.
My encouragement for all of you is to always look for learning opportunities that will challenge you. I also encourage you to be diligent in removing distractions that can prevent you from focusing on what really needs to get done. You’ll be surprised at how much you can actually accomplish!