Practice, Practice, Practice!

Ira Glass talks about the “Gap” where, you just have to produce a large amount of work in order to develop your skills to match your “Taste”. You can watch the video here if you haven’t already.

Your efforts will be rewarded as long as you continue to practice, and here’s the proof.


Ethan Tennier

Ethan Tennier-Stuart

“I think practice shouldn’t be labor.”

Ethan Tennier


MARC-ALLANTE

Marc Allante

“I would say to anyone who has passion for art and creating to not stop … regardless of what gets thrown your way.”

MARC-ALLANTE


Ray Sampang

Ray Sampang

“As long as you keep at it and continue enjoying what you do, you’ll get to where you want to be.”

Ray Sampang


RJ Palmer

RJ Palmer

“You have to really want it, and push yourself really hard to become successful.”

RJ Palmer

Source: Huffingtonpost »

A Little Space

Seed

I love a bargain, better still a freebie and that’s how I view seeds. Sometimes, whilst walking past a beautiful garden and spotting a seed on the pavement I’ll pick it up and try to grow the plant I’ve just admired. And yes, I do apologise, I am that woman who erratically brings the pedestrian traffic to a halt, but I am an opportunist gardener not a thief!

Now we all know plants need sun, soil, water and time but there is one more thing plants need to grow: SPACE.

sprout

When they are overcrowded plants can choke one another and stunt their growth, but spacing out seeds gives the plants a good circulation of air and this helps to prevent disease. The very breeze shaking a tree makes its roots go deeper for strength and stability. Plants need space to grow strong.

Isn’t it just the same in life? We need so much just to live, but there’s something in our souls that also needs SPACE.

Taller

Friends

I planted this nasturtium seed in March. It has a trailing habit so can grow up or down. I provided it with an empty trellis and pot as the basis for this journey. I gave it room to grow and with a little help along the way, by July a drab corner has been brightened up with long trailing green and bright orange flowers. It is full of life!

nasturtium

So, don’t squash that “seed” of an idea of yours. Don’t crowd out your creativity with a hundred deadlines, don’t let the cares of this world choke it. Give it room to branch out, give it time to grow .

Give it some space, and what comes next may surprise everyone!

The Fear of the Lord

In October 2006 I was renting a small attic room in Bradford West Yorkshire after finishing a degree in Leeds. Out of my skylight I looked out over a typical view over the industrial city chimneys. Wondering what to do, I decided to pick up the pencils again (after a long drawing pause since school!) Drawing something would certainly help pass the time in the winter months and something that would take my mind off of the city smog and noise! Being a lover of the great outdoors and to help take my mind away from the city I decided to draw an Eagle. Back home in North Wales growing up I used to enjoy taking to binoculars out to watch the Buzzards circling high above the woods, so a bird of prey like an eagle would do!

eagle-small

I began an A5 sized drawing and was making progress and about half way through the drawing I thought I wonder if I can give it as a Christmas present to someone! (I was pretty short on cash at the time and Christmas was quickly coming so a quickly drawn gift would suffice!) Who can this be for? I made a point of not telling anyone about the drawing, as I wanted it to be a surprise for someone.

A few days later I had a call from my Dad back in Wales, who asked me to come home for the night as they had a special guest staying with them, an old family friend. And apparently he wanted to meet me. I drove home after work that evening and met our guest, he was an older gentleman in his eighty’s and there was something different about him. We sat around the dinner table and later on during our fun conversation this man eyeballed me with a knowing look and a twinkle in his eye, and said “You’re drawing an Eagle!” Totally dumbfounded and shocked I was taken back as I had not told anyone about this, how could he have known I was drawing an Eagle? Yet almost instantly after he said this I surprised myself with a sudden statement “I know who I am giving the Eagle to now!” He laughed, I laughed, and then others around the table laughed! Drawn into a longer discussion with this gentleman I found he was indeed a man of God who had had over 45 years of experience in ministry. I was completely engaged and amazed by his exciting stories of ministry throughout his life so I questioned him more.

eagle-wing

I also found myself on the receiving end of many personal corrections as this man had an uncanny way of identifying and picking out un-confessed things I had done in the past! But again how did he know these things? These were hidden secrets! By the end of the evening taking myself to bed I felt challenged and inspired, I didn’t sleep much but decided to do two things. The first was to finally and fully rededicate my own life back to the Lord as I had once known Him years earlier, yet had since drifted away from Him. The second thing was to restart the drawing of the Eagle and make it larger and more detailed, and then to give it as a gift to this man as a thank you to him for helping to re-direct my life back to God. Furthermore after these decisions I had a great and renewed sense of the Fear of the Lord. God had personally chosen to speak through this man to me. The Lord revealed Himself to me as very real, very close and very personal, He had been with me knowing all these things about me all of my life. I began to really feel a very tangible, very Holy and fearful presence of God, suddenly He was real to me, and I knew that He knew me.

eagle-beak

Returning the next day to my attic amongst the chimneys in Bradford I scrapped the A5 drawing and began afresh on an A2 sized drawing. I tried to collect as many bird feathers as I could for observation. One day I was driving past the Yorkshire Falconry Centre and quickly pulled in on the off chance of possibly getting a few feathers to help with the drawing. I explained about the drawing to the manager and he allowed me into a £180 ‘Eagle Day Experience’ for free and a walk around the birds cages to collect as many feathers as I wanted! Following this amongst the business of life I tried to take every opportunity to draw some more of the eagle sometimes I would only get one feather a week done, yet at other times I managed to get time to complete large sections of the bird in a weekend. As I drew there was always an ease to pray even very late into the night as I slowly took the time over detailing each feather. At that time the Lord highlighted to me many encouraging scriptures that taught on the Fear of the Lord. And so it is named “The Fear of the Lord.”

eagle

By November 2007 eleven months later the drawing was complete and after framing it I took it to the man in the south of England and gave it as a present. The first thing he said when looking at it was; “A lot of prayer has gone into this!” We had a very blessed and memorable time together. Since then we have remained in contact and met many times.

I will never forget drawing this Eagle as it is intertwined in part into my personal testimony and a little look into a time where God helped me return to Him and to Fear Him. I pray that it may also be a reminder to you to renew your sense of the Fear of the Lord.

God Bless

Jonny Thelwell