Ian Robert McKown: PRACTICE!

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Got a minute to talk about Professional Development?

Its my day off and I have a lot planned. Today, I plan on finishing up two recent charcoal drawings as well as working on a recent painting that has been giving me problems, as well as watching one painting DVD and one or two tattoo DVDs. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it’s necessary, perhaps even vital, if I hope to reach my goals with some alacrity.

In my seminars, I often find a few places where I can step outside of the presentation I’m giving, or put my brush down and touch on the idea of Practice and Professional Development. As artists (read that as “tattooers” if that makes you more comfortable) we of course are always looking to reach new goals. Some goals might be selling more paintings (tattoos), getting more recognition, being better at what we do or something else centered around the idea of being better or having more. That’s great. I have yet to meet an artist that on some level wasn’t looking for something that would fit into those goals. Sadly, most do not realize that simply working is not going to get them to where they would like to go. So what CAN you do?

PRACTICE. The drawings I’m finishing up today have more to do with polishing my eye towards value based work that anything else; something that will help me to tattoo and paint better. Sure, the art might sell as well, but that’s not the important part. It’s about practicing the skill set I’m trying to develop, and possibly even more important, practicing the mindset of utilizing as much of my time as I can to help me attain my goals. If you have free time, make it productive free time.

TAKE WORKSHOPS AND SEMINARS. I’m getting ready to take a 5 day painting workshop at the end of the year, and I couldn’t be more nervous and excited. There are seminars and workshops going on year round, across the country, and don’t think you cant learn something from every one of them! Sometimes, you’ll take a seminar and disagree with almost everything the person is saying but that is actually really helpful. It clears the air so you know exactly what you think. Even a traditional tattooer can learn something from a landscape painter. Trust me, its all interrelated. (eve if you can’t travel, many seminars and workshops are available on DVD, or even as streamable webinars like the ones at TattooNow(dot com).

DVDs! Today, I am planning on watching a DVD by David Kassan. I don’t even want to paint like the guy, but his expertise and work speak for themselves. So why not sit down and possibly learn something. Remember, you just need to be open to new ideas and open to learning and you just might! I’m also going to put on a DVD by Carl Grace. I love the guy’s work and maybe, just maybe I can glean a bit about how he is able to d what he does.

Nothing you do to invest in yourself and career is going to be a waste, even if you only get a few things from it. No amount of time practicing will be wasted because its helping you refine your approach and ideas. Invest in yourself and your career. LEARN! Hell, if you have a particular skill set, TEACH! Today is tomorrows beginning, and if you have any goals, wasting time today puts off tomorrows successes. That being said, my coffee is getting cold and its time to get to work.