I began studying classical piano at age 6 under an excellent private tutor. Looking back, one thing I can conclude is that, all those hours (and years) of instruction were useless without—you guessed it—PRACTICE.
That image above is Beethoven’s Sonata Appassionata, a beautiful piece, 33 pages long and takes around 25 minutes to play, assuming you play it perfectly. Lacking practice, I haven’t gone past the 4th page.
I’ve put aside pursuing music but there are some things I’ve learned that I can still apply in my design work and one major lesson is:
“Practice is still the best way to improve your skills.”
Even just the first four pages of Beethoven’s Appassionata is a far cry from John Thompson’s Teaching Little Fingers to Play. I’ve gone through some of my older designs and I can say I’ve come a long way. I know I have a longer way to go but at least I know that practice is what it takes to get there.
Designing something everyday or at least 5 times a week, will always teach us something new and help us develop that “eye for good design.” If you can’t be at your computer, at least have a sketchpad and pencil with you and draw. Whenever I go out, a pen, pencil and sketchpad always goes into my bag, even if sometimes it is already full of the baby’s change of clothes, diapers and stuff most women carry around. You never know if you’ll be stuck somewhere waiting and doing nothing. If you love doing design, doing it everyday shouldn’t be too hard.
I also think it’s a good idea to document our daily designs. It will be inspiring to look back next year and see the improvement in our work. On Mondays, I will be posting my daily designs for the previous week. If you haven’t started designing everyday yet, I encourage you to start today. If you barely have time to spare, 30 minutes before you begin your work day should be sufficient.