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  • Writer's picturePierre Papet

blog #6 - Purposeful Practice

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

Last post I mentioned how I was able to use 2018 to work on my routine and habits. Though not perfect, I have to say I'm getting better at just sitting down and concentrating on work consistently for 1-2.5 hours. It's a slow process in order to change habits, rituals and build concentration and stamina - something I find hard to do.

Having achieved 340 hours worth of 'practice' last year I was happy, but I didn't feel I made enough progress in terms of improvement with regards to skill. I felt I learnt an awful lot about art and admin tasks like searching for exhibitions let me to first solo show, but I didn't feel as though as I had done the 'doing' as much as I needed to.

Writers block, fear of failure, perfection are all things that come in mind as obstacles to stop me. This year needs to be better.

Whilst trying to become more consistent with days I commit to practice (trying my hardest to do every day - even if it's 30 mins) will be a challenge for me, I feel like I'm ready to progress an start turning this time into more productive sessions; using my time sitting down as best I can and really attempting to give 'purposeful practice' a real go.

I'm currently reading a book called 'Grit' by Angela Duckworth, who writes about the importance of utilising this time to your best ability. It's all very well having a good routine and discipline, but it means nothing if you're not able to execute during this time.

The last few months I've gone back to the very beginning of art-making and studied cave art produced by Homo Erectus, Neanderthanls and Homo Sapiens over the last 700,000 years.

Picking up white tack and attempting to replicate some of the the oldest sculptures ever discovered on this planet appeared like a sensible place to start my sculpture journey.

I thought I'd share a few images of the first model I in my first practice session of the year...

Attempt 1:

Attempt 3:

Attempt 6:

Replica of Venus of Berekhat Ram (230-700,000 BCE) - the oldest prehistoric sculpture ever discovered. Predated before Homo sapiens and Neanderthal and was created by earlier hominid like Homo erectus.

I felt super uncomfortable about approaching this, stepping outside of my comfort zone and attempting a new skill in the knowledge that I was pretty bad at it. At theme of this year is to constantly challenge myself to act when I'm feeling this way.

I made about 6 attempts on this, the first was pretty terrible. But it's remarkable how quickly one can improve with some dedicated focus.

Thanks for reading,


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