Ox Painting featured in To Paint in Lingnan Style (3) Landscapes, Animals & Figures.
American Culture is Obsessed with the Idea of A Magic Bullet
A magic bullet is some kind of trick, tool, or piece of information that instantly and easily solves a difficult and complex problem. They rarely, if ever exist but that doesn't stop us from looking for them and demanding that companies create them. But instead of creating magic bullets, most companies just use the idea of a magic bullet to sell us on the latest fad that is supposed to solve all our problems instantly.
A Painting Example
Ever catch yourself thinking about a brush as a magic bullet? You see a video demonstrating a brush and in your mind you are thinking, "all I need is that brush and I will be able to paint like that."
Now at OAS, we have the highest confidence in our brushes. We know that our brushes, especially our core brushes deliver unbeatable performance at whatever price point, we are offering them. We also understand that even if our customers offer that using a Super Flow Brush is like "driving a Ferrari" or that their new OAS brushes will be "improve their painting 5-fold" when compared to their old non OAS brushes, we still realize that our brushes are NOT magic bullets. They are just the highest quality tools available for you to use to engage in the process of becoming the artist that you desire to be.
We Promised a Magic Bullet and Here it Is!
The magic bullet for becoming the painter that you want to be is: constant and never ending incremental improvement.
To see the power of this, we can look at an example from painting. We have a customer, named Sally who is practicing her strokes on magic paper everyday. But she is still unsatisfied with her results. Her progress feels slow. Sometimes it seems like she takes one step forward and two steps back. After answering some questions for her on the phone, I realize that she does not own any of our core brushes. I recommend that she gets our Premium Artist Brush Set. They arrive and suddenly she can do the strokes she's been trying to do for months! So the Premium Artist Brush Set is now Sally's Magic Bullet. She tells all her friends in painting class about the set and they all live happily ever after!
So what really happened here? Is the Premium Artist Brush Set really a magic bullet? I mean it does contain four of OAS' most time tested, iconic brushes. Brushes who names and reputations are so well known, knock-off versions are marketed by competitors under the same names. Alas, as good as the Premium Artist Brush Set is, it was not Sally's magic bullet. Sally was improving her skill everyday. It was hard to see because the improvements were small and she was struggling with poorer quality materials. Along comes the Premium Artist Brush Set and the difference between that and her old brushes was enough to finally create the results that Sally was looking for. The Premium Artist Brush set was not Sally's magic bullet but it was part of her process of constant and never ending improvement. It was the combination of her skill improvement plus the better brushes that created the result.
Evidence Abounds in the 30 Day Challenge
OAS just complete another 30 Day Challenge. For those who do not know, OAS has two 30 Day Challenges per year where we encourage all of you in our OAS Extended Family to paint everyday for 30 days and post an example of what you are working on in our OASlife Facebook group.
In this challenge we see so many examples of the power of this constant and never ending improvement. In as little as 30 days so many people made significant improvement in their art. We had one person focus on a single subject and this made the improvement so obvious. What was so great is that we all got to be part of this special process either as participants, cheerleaders/appreciators, or just quiet observers. Our Facebook feeds were filled with Chinese Brush Painting and Calligraphy and the inspiration was like a breath of fresh air!
Here Are Some Key Points To Make This Magic Bullet Process Work for You!
- The magic bullet to becoming the artist you wish to become is constant and never ending incremental improvement.
- When you focus on painting make sure that you focus is neutral to positive.
- Refrain from focusing on anything that you care about in a negative way.
- Don't be overly critical of your improvement process. Enjoy yourself, have fun on your journey.
- The results of constant and never ending improvement are as dependable as any other predictable law of the Universe. Just like gravity, you can be assured that if you get a little bit better everyday, you will eventually be the artist that you want to be.
- Beware of the moving target. The reason why progress is hard to judge is that the process of living life continually causes you to set new goals. The artist you want to become keeps changing and evolving with your ambition. This is a normal part of life and it is to be celebrated. But it also can explain why you are not arriving at your goal as quickly as expected.