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On my first signing tour for HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS, I was (as I always do) drawing dragon sketches in readers' books.

One woman in line pointed to the dragon I'd just drawn, and turned to her daughter. "Look, honey!" she exclaimed. "It only took him three minutes to draw that."

"Actually," I replied as I smiled and handed her daughter the book, "It took me thirty years."

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
cpolk
Jan. 11th, 2011 06:42 pm (UTC)
Oh I *do* like that.
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
;)
trinker
Jan. 11th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC)
*grin*

There is a programmers' anecdote, for which the punchline is, "Knowing the right three keys? $4995."
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 06:48 pm (UTC)
LOL... yeah.

At another signing, someone asked if it was easy to do the sketches so quickly. I replied, "It is NOW... it was the first twelve thousand or so that were hard."
trinker
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
I find that many people watch an expert doing something quickly and easily, and assume that thing is quick and easy to do for *anyone*.

It is strange to me which things fall into that category for most people, and which do not. Somehow, most people know that music and dance requires practice, but art and writing fall outside that mental category.
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:22 pm (UTC)
With writing, I think it's because EVERYONE can write, as in, perform the motions.

I had a guy I owed money to come by a few years ago, asking when I could pay him. I told him as soon as I finished the new novel, I'd get paid, and could pay him. He asked how long it would take, and I said another few months.

He came back and said he'd done some calculations, and that at my typing speed, I ought to be able to finish it inside of three days. Because, you know, it doesn't matter WHAT words I'm typing, as long as I deliver the book and get that check...

*headdesk*
trinker
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:45 pm (UTC)
I should perhaps confess that the juxtaposition of "you gotta put in the time and effort first" and "if you wish and want hard enough..." appeared ironic to me.
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
"If you wish and want hard enough... AND put in the time and effort..." is a good combination for me.
trinker
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:06 pm (UTC)
"...and it is at all feasible."

coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)
That's the part, I think, that may be for each individual to decide for themselves.
trinker
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC)
There's only so much that's will yield to effort and will. Quite a lot, but finite.
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
If you want to argue in absolutes, sure - but too many people think that they should define the "Quite a lot" for others. I don't. Everyone gets to choose that for themselves.
trinker
Jan. 12th, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
I don't believe in squashing anyone's dreams. I've seen the concept misapplied to things like "if I want it badly enough, *she* (or he) will be mine!"
inkandpixelclub
Jan. 11th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of something Chuck Jones once said, whic is always a good thing, from my perspective.
Anna Mazin
Jan. 11th, 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
A webcomic artist wrote under one of his pages something along the lines of "Once I heard that it takes at least 1000 pages of experience before you're able to draw something adequately. Only 500 to go!" Except he sounded less cynical and more self-deprecating.
coppervale
Jan. 11th, 2011 11:04 pm (UTC)
LOL... actually, the quote - which I and Dave Sim, and others have used, and which we all attribute to Bernie Wrightson - is that every artist has 10,000 bad drawings in them that they have to do before they start getting good...

Here's an example of that in practice:
http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/galleriesmuseums/articles/2009/09/11/20090911boze0913.html
niamh_sage
Jan. 12th, 2011 10:42 am (UTC)
every artist has 10,000 bad drawings in them that they have to do before they start getting good...

Oh dear. Better get started then.
victoria_lane
Jan. 12th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Exactly!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )