slowly getting better

I feel weird about calling myself an artist - it has this quality of having something important to say to the world and that everyone should stop and pay attention. I much prefer the term ‘maker’ - like, yes, I make things, and if you like them, please take them home with you. I try to make things that I would be happy to have in my home, and in the same vein hope that others might appreciate it too. But if not - that’s okay - we’re just not a match. Plenty of other pottery fish in the sea. Or something like that.


I’ve been thinking about Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that to become an expert in something (err is it master?) you have to do it for 10,000 hours. I remember reading that book when I was 19 and thinking that 10,000 hours felt soooo long. Like, an impossibly long time that if you hadn’t started as a small child, you weren’t going to master anything. Today I did the math on how much time I spend a year at my full-time job - at the very low end not including overtime it’s around 2,000 hours/year. So in theory, you just need to spend 5 years doing the same full-time activity that you wanted to master. And that seems totally doable. Like, almost too easy.


I guess the hard part is surviving and making money off of that master-able activity. If I wanted to become a master potter, a whole bunch of this time would need to be spent selling all these non-mastered pots, which complicates that 5 year plan. And there’s so many other things I want to explore and think about and try that I don’t know that I could be so single-focused. I might not like doing it anymore, which would be the worst way towards mastery. Striving for (personal) greatness is complicated sometimes.


It’s summer time and so so beautiful outside. The heat makes me slow and want to read books about creativity on the beach, not really be creative myself. I’m just hoping I can collect and hold on to this inspiration until the fall, when it’s time to cozy inside the studio and work, work, work. 

Morgan FraserComment