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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Practice makes perfect

Yesterday, I came across this interesting article in the Straits Times about gaining expertise.  It is said that for a person to be a specialist in his or her field, he or she needs to accumulate more than 10,000 hours honing his/her skills. So if we are to use four hours day and five days a week, we will achieve "expert" status in ten years. 

That got me thinking,"is this applicable to Gunpla modeling?" I did some mental calculations and after being around this field for almost nine years, I think I have more or less hit that figure. But I ask myself," can I then be considered a expert in this field?" To be frank, I am not entirely convinced. 

The article went on to talk about well-know people like Bill Gates, Mozart, Bobby Fischer (a chess grandmaster), Tiger Woods and even Lewis Hamilton. All of them share some similarities, most of them started very young, devoted a large part of their younger days pursuing their interests. And most importantly, their unwavering determination to master the craft. 

So what kind of determination am I talking about?  Well, four hours is too short to do anything. In the first few years, I put in at least five hours a day. In fact, I am still doing that now amid other activities. The internet also provides me with valuable information I need to try a technique. I always believes that experience doesn't comes from "what I told you" but by trying new techniques, making errors and learning from them, YOURSELF. Reference books, resources and magazines were so rare those days and I have to pay a premium for them. 

Fast forward a few years and you have "live" demonstrations available on YouTube, modeling forums and even hobby shops offering courses. A wealth of information at your fingertips. If you ask me, you don't need to put in 10,000 hours to be an expert. 

....JUST BE MORE HARDWORKING.... and maybe a dash of flair and talent will make things less painful LOL... 


I agree totally. Does mastering the modelling techniques = 'Expert'? I think the creative boundaries of modelling is ever expanding.

I do believe that while you can have the knowledge, it usually boils down to the individual's of applying this knowledge.

I agree with you, and also the article.. maybe the article means that.. when you're really an expert.. that means you can replicate, create or even improve new ways because everything is stamped in your head..

Interesting article ! I class you as a Super Master so... I think its true in your case ^^!

The terms 'expert' and 'perfect' are highly subjective especially in Gunpla modeling when varied skills are required for one to practice on to get 'good' results.

There are those who take years to "master" a skill well enough to be called an expert, and there are those who simply pick it up right there and then, and almost instantaneously become an expert at that particular skill.

Of course, that latter doesn't automatically become an expert in his own right, other people must see it through his work.

I consider you one of the 'masters' of this craft. Julius Lim is another, and DonC, who won BAKUC on his first try, well, if his competition stuff aren't proof enough, I don't know what makes one an expert. The thing is, Donc has been at it for only 3-4 years, and in my view he has surpassed several people locally who's been at it for more than that.

Personally, the thought of cutting plastic with any implement even crossed my mind, but I guess, having a related skill does help. Still, practice does make perfect.

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