Letting Go of the Great Expectations
Updated: May 9, 2021
If you want to learn to sculpt, my advice is to get rid of those self-imposed expectations and just enjoy yourself. Let yourself be a rookie and just be proud that you showed up to give it a go. Know that you'll have good days and bad and that if you persevere, the practice will help you slowly improve. If you enjoy doing it, all the better and it will be something you'll look forward to.
It's a process, not an event
Actually, it's an awesome process, or at least I found it to be. I looked forward to Tuesday nights when I could sculpt from a live model with others. I used to think that there were those who had "it" and those who didn't, almost like there were those who made it to the Olympics without even having to work at it. I finally got over that crazy belief years ago while watching my daughter learn to ice skate. You watch ice skating on the Olympics and see the spins and jumps, but what you don't realize is how long it took to get there, how many hours of agonizing practice, courage, determination, perseverance, and strength it takes. The most helpful thing about watching my daughter learn to skate, was seeing how the lessons were organized in many different levels. A student wasn't allowed to progress into the next level until they had mastered their current level, so as an observer, it was fascinating to see multiple groups of skaters in the same
rink, each focusing on a particular skill, and each having a sense of awe at the skaters before them and determination to learn the skills within their particular group.
That being said, stretch yourself
It's always good to get out of your comfort zone. For me, learning to sculpt a face was the most challenging. Little did I know that the face can be broken down into "planes." Once I started to figure that out, faces began to seem easier to sculpt and they began to look a bit
better. Often in-between times of sculpting in a studio, I'd watch sculptors on YouTube and eventually learned about the on-line program, New Masters Academy, where top notch instructors teach about drawing, painting, and sculpting for a very reasonable cost. I started drawing to see if that would help my sculpting improve, and by George, I think it did! I had a hard time integrating the time required for drawing and for sculpting at the same time, as both are very time intensive, but I now tend to switch between one and the other. I'm not at the point yet of being able to first draw what I sculpt, but one day I hope to be able to do that.