Last week my daughter and I sat down with two white canvases, three tubes of paint (Titanium White, Mars Black, and Prussian Blue) and Bob Ross queued up on Netflix.
To paint a simple winter scene--a pond, some mountains looming in the distance, some trees and snow and "happy clouds."
Should be simple, right? The episode was only 25 minutes long. We're both fairly creative, artistic people. We could handle Bob.
About three hours later, we'd banned the word "happy" from our vocabularies. There were no happy trees or mountains or clouds, and Bob was public enemy number one.
Bob made the creative process look effortless: beautiful shading and blending.... The dude just couldn't make a mistake. My daughter swore he was using magic brushes.
That's the way I feel reading my favorite authors, sometimes--closing their books lamenting the fact that I will never be able to write a scene or develop a character or craft a sentence as beautifully as they do.
What I forget about is all the man hours and feedback it took for them to become that amazing.
What my daughter and I forgot was that Bob Ross had been painting for years. I mean, there's a reason he landed his own show.
Put into perspective, our end results--a first attempt--were pretty damn okay, even if my daughter said "screw the pond" and painted a blanket of snow over it and I eventually went abstract.
At the end of the day we had something to show for our effort, and we picked up a few tips and tricks along the way. We were willing to step out of our comfort zones (and straight into Bob's), tried something new and difficult, and learned some things that will make the process easier next time.
And that's really all we can hope for, isn't it?
Be Brilliant! :)