Reading more from the Minimalists, I found a great essay called "Create Your Masterpiece, a 16-Step Guide". The breakdown, or the idea that struck me the most is that we ALL HAVE THE SAME TIME EVERYDAY to do something lasting, or in Joshua's term, create a masterpiece. We have lives built on differences of cultures, socioeconomic standings, desires. But we all have the same 24 hours in a day. For some people that is building a business to employ others, or practicing a guitar everyday to make music that communicate who they are or in my case, creating art. The thing that has been an invaluable lesson for me during my hours and hours of creation is the knowledge that you chip away at it.
In his book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell talks of 10,000 hours. He breaks down the dabbler, the talent and the genius in a way that is a highly consumable read on what makes something extraordinary. It comes down to time and effort. This writing is not here to debate inherent talent over someone who has to mule their way to their passion, but it is about making it happen one hour at a time.
Over the last 6 or so years I have been more aggressive about chipping into those hours than I have in the last 20 years of practicing art. I have to admit it is scary and empowering and mostly rewarding. If you work on something you develop a pride in that "thing". I am a little slow on the uptake but it is finally culminating into a direction on how I want to spend my time. I am interested in growing as an artist, an individual and a contributor to a larger conversation. As I start putting my artwork and words out into the universe for others to consume, I give in to letting "it" happen. Whatever that is, I know that I am adding something that is greater than I am. ... and I am on to the next "masterpiece"...
Here are some great reads on the subjects touched on above: