Welcome to this weeks Musings!
Some recent posts by others got me thinking this past week, not a good thing I grant you. This led me to ponder two things, the first of which was …
How expert are experts?
Red, White or Rose?
I am referring to wine. Now I like wine but I am no connoisseur. I willingly buy into Red for red meat and White for fish and cheese (I never drink Rose unless I’m drunk and it’s all that’s left. Is it for surf ‘n turf’ or just the dregs of red and white mixed together?). A grape variety grown in different countries with different soils and levels of sunlight logically gives rise to a variation in taste. Wine left in an oak barrel for several years will taste differently to a newly casked wine and wine with a greater infusion of fruit will similarly be distinguishable when comparisons are made to less fruitier examples. Similar things could be said about beer I’m sure.
So what is my point? Well the basic taste differences I get, they are logical and not beyond the limits of my pallette. Some are less obvious to me but I become appreciative once explained and pointed out by others. Thereafter we are beginning to talk about very subtle changes. Some I can pick up on, others simply fly over my head. All of which gives rise to the following question. Is my palette lacking in sophistication or is the wine expert simply being pretentious?
I suspect the answer lies somewhere in between. I am not the product of a privileged upbringing so my exposure and understanding of some of the finer things in life are often lost on me. This is offset by the fact numerous experts I have encountered in my former professional life love nothing better than to show off their expertise, something which I have found to be directly proportional to my lack of knowledge on the subject.
And the relevance of all this to modelling?
Well the way I see it is this. Let’s take paints just as an example. The differences between oils, acrylics and enamels is clear to see, just like Red, White and Rose wine. The effect of washes is also evident and the impact of colour is a no brainer. Some of the subtle variations and techniques are either obvious when applied or obvious once explained. However, for me, and it is only me I’m talking about here, there are some things which are simply lost on me (for now). For example, paint brands and manufacturers. Do they really differ that much or are they all made in the same factory and put into different pots with other labels added to them?
Brushes potentially are the same. Big differences at one end of the scale but so subtle at the other end that I suspect I would not be able to tell the difference.
Some of the experts (or is it the manufacturers?) would have us believe these things make a difference. Perhaps they do but I cannot help but think some of it, to put it bluntly, is bullshit.
So am I knocking the experts? Far from it. The proffesional advice offered by the folks in the video link that Azazel recently provided for example was excellent and I have every intention of following through on some of them. These people should never be ignored, they are professionals and make a living (presumably) from what they do. They have my respect. The issue is that even the experts do not agree on everything. In fact some of the opinions offerred were polar opposite and this is the crux of the matter.
So what do “I” conclude? There is great advice out there but it can be conflicting, potentially even false. Listen to it all, try some of it or even all of it if yiu have the time but at the end of the day it’s what works best for you.
The beauty of our little community is we get to share our thoughts and experiences. We won’t agree on everything, there is after all more than one way to skin a cat as my grandmother God bless her would say. So to those who pass on their tips and experiences for us to check out, THANK YOU. I will give them a try.
On to my other thought for the week …
Yes we are talking about the footballer (soccer player). If you prefer feel free to swap Messi for Ronaldo. In any event we are talking about the two best footballers currently playing today. And what does this have to do with modelling? I shall explain.
If I remember correctly the eighty/twenty rule goes something like this. It takes 20 percent of our time to learn 80 percent of something and 80 percent of our time to learn the other 20. In reality few of us if anyone at all ever learn the other 20 percent, 80 percent is often good enough. It’s why computer systems have errors in them.
This rule in general can be applied to modelling. A novis can learn very quickly. We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it and now we are all trying to bottom out the remaining 20 percent. Some of us are closer to that goal than others but none of us are or ever will make 100 percent.
There are two realities at play here in my opinion. Firstly, the more you put in the more you get out. Attaining 80 percent is achievable and further hard work will make advances into the remaining 20 percent. Secondly, 100 percent is not achievable but only a natural ability will take you as close as it is possible to go. Do other professional football players train and practice as hard as Messi or Ronaldo? I think they do but they just don’t possess that extra something which elevates them to a higher plane. That said neither Messi or Ronaldo are perfect, they miss goal scoring opportunities and fail with passes, they just don’t do it as often as other players do which is why they are better but not perfect.
My conclusion is a simple one. Work hard and practice. It is not a coincidence that the more you practice and the harder you work the better you become. Perfection is beyond mere mortals (that’s why I will always be the Imperfect Modeller) but it should not stop our pursuit of excellence, to be the best we can be. Above all enjoy what you do. Life’s to short!
Until next time!