What's the first step to every project?
Figure out what you're doing!
The same goes for when you're trying to learn a new skill - you need to know what kind of skill you are learning.
Now before you say the specific skill, let me clarify. You need to know the big picture before the specifics. That starts with recognizing whether the skill is a hard skill or a soft skill.
Determining whether it is a hard skill or a soft skill is actually pretty easy. Ask yourself, "Do I need a teacher or coach?"
If the answer is yes, then it's probably a hard skill. If the answer is no, then it is probably a soft skill.
That may seem vague, but that's what I am here for in Beyond the Brushes. I teach hard skills, like puppet warp and mixing colors. These are technical skills that require the ABCs of learning when you start off - always being consistent. These are highly focused on in the Fundamental Artisan, Budding Artisan, and the beginning of the Apprentice Artisan stages.
Now, soft skills come into play throughout the process but more so on the latter end of learning in Beyond the Brushes. These are situational skills. You need to be able to do the 3 R's - read, recognize, and react. For instance, you shouldn't use the same color palette for every painting. It's dependent upon other factors, like the subject and the background you're creating. I can help guide you and give you tips, which is why personalized reviews are so important, but ultimately, you have to use entirely different circuits in your brain to get the pattern in your mind.
So, hard skills are repeatable precision, and soft skills are pattern recognition. Both require continuous exposure and use in order to develop, but they rely on entirely different forms of deliberate practice.
If you can determine what kind of skill you're trying to achieve, then you have just taken the first step on the right path toward learning.
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