Thursday, 21 July 2011

How I do It

Today I'm going to tell you all about how I learned how to do most of the things I know how to do.

Step one: Think to yourself "Other people can do that. I am also a people. Therefore, I can do that!"

Often times we see things other people have created, and become envious of their abilities. I have to say, I used to be far more envious of other peoples abilities. I used to think that if I did a thing it was less of a thing than if someone else did it. IE My talents are lesser because they are mine. This is something most people have to deal with in their lives, in one way or another. Very closely related to a common condition known as Imposter Syndrome. But, it's like people say when they see that strange expressionist piece of modern art "My 2 year old could paint better!" And often times, that statement may be true, but we invalidate it by rationalization. Generally, the rationalization has to do with a dollar value attatched to the thing in question. "Yes, I could make something similar on my own, but I could never sell it. I could never make money off of it. It's a waste of time." It's these kind of thoughts that stand in your way. If you want to do a thing, why not try? Forget all the excuses, and give it a whirl.

Step Two: TRY IT!

Yes, that's right. If you think you may be able to do a thing, why not give it a try? Why not use your thinky brain for something that might make you happy, fulfill you creatively, and perhaps do something you may not have thought possible. This is not the hardest step, because trying once is easy to give up from. Especially when you aren't exactly sure what you are doing. The worst thing about trying is often times we know someone or of someone who we are trying to emulate when we are attempting to try something new. What happens when we attempt to emulate people is that we compare ourselves directly to that person, and when we aren't immediately as profficient at the thing as that person, we think we suck and walk away. This is not cool!

Step Three: Don't talk yourself out of it

I'm gunna be brutally honest, no matter what you are doing someone has probably already done it first. There will always be someone who's better than you at it, but they are not you. They won't give it your unique spin, your own sense of pinash that makes it your item, your thing, your creative outlet. Just because you aren't immediately amazing at a thing, doesn't mean you aren't talented. It just means you haven't done that thing as often as others, and really all you can do is keep trying to get better, and you will. It's inate. It's muscle memory, it's part of being human. We can all learn to do the same things that any other human being can do, it's just a matter of persistence.

Step 4: Don't Fear Questions!

When you are learning something new, you have to ask questions. If you know someone who does a thing you want to try, ask them to teach you. If they don't want to teach you (don't be offended by it! Some people don't wanna teach other people things because they are jealous and don't want to share their thing) go to somewhere where knowledge is free for all. I suggest the Googles. It taught me how to crochet, how to sew, how to knit, how to draw anime, how to make a proper capucinno, how to fashionably accessorize, how to cheat at video games, how to make home made bombs, how to spy on my neighbours, how to bake banana bread, how to eat healthy, how to excersize, how to hula hoop, how to walk in high heels, how to dye and cut my own hair, how to set up my home network, how to purify water, how to keep long distance relationships, how to crush my enemies, how to use a bow and arrow, how to dance, how to keep a fish tank, how to make websites and blogs, and so many other things I don't know if I could ever possibly list it all. The internet is the bestest tool ever for people who want to teach themselves how to do a thing. And litterally, you can find a tutorial for anything you could possibly think of online.

Step 5: Inspire yourself!

When you want to do a thing, you have to inspire yourself to do it. Again, the interwebs are the best source of inspiration for those of us on a tight budget. If you are interested in fashion, and want to know how to sew, and want ideas for what to make, go to any fashion website and steal ideas. Seriously, take those ideas note for note. You're not selling this thing, so it's not like your doing anything exactly wrong. You're borrowing to learn. And really, because you are just learning you're never really going to be able to exactly re-create that new Phillip Lim design. And if you do, holy shit you're a genious, pat yourself on the back and realize you have already completely learned this thing and are amazing. And besides, you don't want to start with something that ridiculously difficult. You want to look, you want to imagine, you want inspiration.

Step 6: We all start with baby feet for baby steps

"Before you must run, you must walk. Before you must walk, you must crawl" This is how it is with everything. Start small, small projects. Some of my first sewing and design projects were barbie clothes. I'd hot glue 'em right to Barbies bod. Or I'd actually sew them. Either way, it was small, wasn't it? And then, when I wanted to start sewing clothes for myself I would buy patterns. Then, after I got pretty comfortable with most patterns and terms I started drafting my own patterns. See? It's sequential. It's logical. It works. For everything. You want to know how to do leather carving? They got kits for that. Wood burning? Same deal. Wood working? Make a birdhouse. You want to learn how to do your own taxes? They got kits for that too. See? Anything you want to do, you can find a way to learn it.

Step 7: Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Actually, don't listen to yourself either.

People say things, with all the best of intentions most times, that might throw you off your path. You may want to keep trying things, and they may tell you not too. Don't listen! If you really want something, fuck everyone else. You can do it. And sometimes people's encouragement can very easily discourage you. Trust me, one wrong word and you can feel like no one will understand your art ever and there's no point. Well, don't listen to encouragement either. Like when I write, I get a lot of positive feedback. I am at the point of hating it. I hate it when I give my work to someone for critique and all they say is "Good job! That's awesome!" Seriously, it makes me think they didn't think about it all. But, whatever. It's what people say when they don't know what to say. They like it, but they don't know the way I know. So I don't listen anymore. I know when I've screwed up, and even if people like what I've done I know there is room for improvement. That drives me forward. And don't listen to yourself when you start getting hung up on the little errors either. Because that's the shit that makes you quit. So listen to yourself when you're positive, and even a little when your negative. But beware the overconfidence, or the pit of no confidence in yourself at all. It makes it easy to walk away when you listen to yourself being negative, and it makes it even easier to walk away when you think your all hot shit and couldn't get any better.

Anyway, I was just trying to give myself an ego boost, a morale boost, and some energy to keep going today. I'm in a blah space, and I really need to get out of it. I'm gunna go start the dishwasher, start an episode of Mad Men and finish my pink shorts. I've named the pattern "Cream Soda Shorts" because they are the kind of hot shorts you wear out on a date to the malt shop. And they are cream soda pink.

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