Learning The Craft

Before we can even think about creativity we need to develop the basic skills of our craft. Whatever the craft, whether it be painting, drawing, graphic arts, photography, sculpture, wood working, jewelry, etc.

Learning the craft is an ongoing never ending process. The good news is that with just a few basic skills we can begin to create.

There are different ways of learning a craft and most specifically being taught or self taught.

Whatever skill or craft you want to learn there are classes available. This means that you will be taught the basics of the craft and later classes will take you into more detail and the finer points of the craft. In many ways this is the most economical in terms of time and money.

On the other hand, you can just go for it. Decide that you want to learn a craft and jump right in. Since you will be making mistakes that you wouldn’t be if you took the class, you will be spending more time and using up more material and buying some tools that you probably won’t need.

As the two preceding paragraphs indicate, taking the class is the better way to go.  However, I am the “jump in” person and much prefer to figure it out for myself. As I have often said, “if there is any advantage to being self taught it is that I know lot of things that don’t work”.

One can be creative while learning their craft. But it is much easier to learn the craft and then be creative. When you are in the process of learning your craft you will begin to get ideas.

The more you add to your skill the more ideas you will have.

I suggest to customers that buy my Metal Sculpture Instructional DVDs is that they start by copying my designs. For example, this golf cart


I can almost guarantee that by the time they make the fourth or fifth golf cart they will begin to see a change in the design. Their own ideas will come into play.

It is easy to have images in our mind of a design, but if we don’t have the skills this mental image will never become a reality.

What I can do with metal is a result of the skills that I have developed, my tools and the materials I have to work with.

It is not easy learn a craft and at the same time learn to design. In the above example, I’m suggesting to my customers; use my designs while they are learning the craft.

By craft I mean how to work with the tools. How to incorporate the design you have in your mind, along with the tools and materials you have. If it’s woodworking, then how to work with different woods, saws, routers, glues, measurements etc. If it’s graphic arts, then learn how to use your graphic editing program.

If it’s jewelry, go to a craft store and buy some basic materials and a few tools and see what you can come up with.

If you want to draw or paint, buys some pencils and a sketch pad and begin sketching simple forms and see where this leads.

Take classes or jump right in.

Do whatever you have to do to get off ground zero.


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