40,000 hours

by debra mager


Last night at dinner, one of the gentleman at the table who has a deep passion for music, said he read it takes 40,000 hours of practice to become truly proficient at any instrument. I have not added up the number of hours I've spent learning and practicing mosaics but what I can say is that it's only putting in the hours and practicing like crazy that has made me any good at it.  I often hear my students say, "I can't cut the glass right" or "I'm not good at cutting the glass" after their first or maybe second class.  What's that, about 24 hours?  

The wonderful benefit of working in mosaic art is that it doesn't require precision.  Its meant to be seen from a distance so the parts and pieces you've puzzled together form the whole beautiful piece.  Do we want to improve our skills?  Yes.  Do we want to become better artists? Yes. But it takes time and practice.  If you love mosaics like I do, those 40,000 hours are a gift.