Monday, July 29, 2013


I know the title of this post is “Shortcuts,” but it is really about eyebrow plucking.

Sure, I've just alienated roughly 50% of the population. Too bad. You guys out there are welcome to wear your unibrow with pride, but let me tell you — it is not a fetching look for those of us without the convenience of a Y chromosome.

Anyway, I once got pretty fed up with plucking. It was painful. It was time-consuming. I was DONE. So, I had this brainiac idea to just use a razor and skillfully scrape off what had to go. How hard could this be? I mean, 15-year-old boys can do it. Well…

Maybe it was that second cup of coffee. Maybe it was distraction. Maybe I have less sense than a 15-year-old boy. But one minute I had two eyebrows, and the next I had 1 point 5. No lie.

The ONLY thing that saved the day (and the next four weeks or so) is the fact that I have bangs. You see, my forehead is of a certain age, and well, it seems to suggest that I’ve had many surprises in my life. I personally have no recollection of THAT MANY surprises, but there they are. Over the years I’ve  found that bangs work a lot like Botox, only cheaper and without all the nasty side effects of, uh... botulism. And as an added bonus — they hide the fact that you have had a harebrained idea and hacked off half an eyebrow.

Moral: There are no shortcuts in eyebrow maintenance.

But here’s the rub. There are no shortcuts in art either.

Do you want to be good at your craft? Really good? Well, then you have to spend time doing it. How much time? Scientists say that 10,000 hours is the magic number. Yep —10,000 hours separate the women from the girls, the men from the boys, the professional razor wielders from the amateur wannabe eyebrow destroyers.

Studies have demonstrated that time trumps “talent” every day of the week and twice on Sunday. To find out more, you can check out two books on the topic: Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell and Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin.

PROMPT: Do time this week (just NOT the kind that has me posting your bail). Delight in your craft. It doesn't really matter what you’re writing, painting, composing, or creating — just log some minutes on your 10,000-hour Countdown to Greatness! And if you find that you've got NO TIME for art, but you’re racking up some pretty plump stretches watching Honey Boo Boo… Well…

No comments:

Post a Comment