Who told you that you had no talent or that you couldn't learn? And can I smack them?
I meet so many people who are convinced that they can’t make things or do things because of lack of talent. Sure, that can help, but so much of what people call talent really means having skills. Skills can be learned, and those skills can be even better than having talent.
We all know talented people who don't use their skills.
What is the best way to learn anything? Watch people who are good at the things you want to know about (and people who aren’t). Listen carefully to their ideas, see how they work, use your own judgment and practice a lot. The quickest way, though, is to take something apart. Dissection, curiosity and a willingness to make mistakes are excellent tools for learning. I make many mistakes, and with a lot of practice I’ve learned how to fix those mistakes more quickly.
Want to learn how to make a shirt or pair of pants or a fancy dress? Carefully take old clothes apart and label each step as you go. You’ll get a fabulous idea of how to put those pieces back together. You’ll also have a pattern. Lay those pieces out onto a different fabric and you’re ready to cut a new pair of pants.
Want to learn how to upholster? Same deal. Take apart an old chair or sofa and label as you go. There are books and online tutorials to help you get through the tricky parts. No amount of reading about something or watching something, though, will take the place of doing the work yourself. Taking that chair apart step by step shows you intimately how the process works and what you can do to put it back together.
This method works for figuring out the mechanics of things like watches, radios and cars and computers- although you may want to start out with cheap junk to dissect! Dissection trains your hands and your brain to work together. It also trains you to become a better learner. This means you can learn the next thing, and the next, and the next…This makes you flexible, keeps your brain young and effectively makes you more valuable. Learning how to learn is a powerful tool.
There’s no magic shortcut here. Of course it takes work! Things worth doing and learning take time and effort. So pick something you actually want to learn more about. That way, your time and effort are well spent. You’re guaranteed to learn something AND enjoy the process.
Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Staple Draping by A.Laura Brody is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.