One Tiny Thing: Improve your coloring immediately- Turn off the distractions

One Tiny Thing (small change, big results)- Distracted coloring is never your best work. | VanillaArts.com

There are no magical shortcuts to better coloring...

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

But there are small things you can do TODAY to immediately improve the quality of your finished coloring projects.

 

 

 

Today I'd like to talk about

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

Hold on, they're about to vote someone off the island.

what happens when you color

Wait? The butler did it?

with the television on

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

Oh, yeah. I need to remember to buy fabric softener.

I know that for a lot of you, coloring is a relaxing hobby.

Cool! I've been waiting for that season to be available on Netflix!

So it makes sense that you'd want to put on your comfy slippers, grab a hot beverage and your bag of markers, and plonk down in the recliner in front of the television.

Dang, that's the new song everyone is raving about? I don't get it, that's a hit?

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

Coloring and catching up on your latest programs, that sounds like a perfect evening, eh?

Ohhhh... that looks yummy! Let's go out for burgers Thursday night.

But here's the problem. If you are trying to improve the look of your coloring or if you're trying to master a new technique, that requires learning. Learning requires your full attention.

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

In order to retain what you practice, your brain needs to

Hold on, let me turn off the television. There. That's better. Let's continue...

Okay, in order to really learn something, your brain needs to engage.

  1. You must consciously make the decision to change something about the technique that you are currently using.
  2. You must coach yourself through the new movements and the motion as you're doing it.
  3. You must view and analyse the results of this new motion to evaluate if you performed the action correctly.
  4. You must evaluate the results to decide if the change in process was an improvement over old results.
  5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 and visually monitor yourself as you continue to perform the new action, making corrections when you accidentally revert back into your old technique.
  6. You must register a sense of joy or pride in the newly learned skill in order to have the desire to repeat it again.

And in order for any of this to take root and become a natural habit, you have to be clear and mentally present throughout every single part of the process.

You can't do that if half your brain is paying attention to the television.

if you are not concentrating, most of what you do will fade from memory before bedtime.  

Multi-tasking is a myth

I don't care what the get-it-all-done-today efficiency nuts tell you. Doing two things at once is essentially doing neither thing well.

You never color well when you're distracted. Tips for improving your Copic coloring. | VanillaArts.com

Learning, practicing, and progressing in skill levels? You really, really, really can not multi-task the learning process.

If you aren't wholly involved in the learning process, if you brain isn't locked in and loaded for Copic coloring, then you are not logging the new information into long your term memory storage. If you aren't fully engaged in the task at hand, you are not developing muscle memory.

I don't care if it's just the news or a talk show. I don't care if it's an old episode of something you've seen 200 times. Your brain still checks in and out when you should be concentrating.

The first half of this blog today was really hard to read, right?

It's because I wasn't focused on story telling. It was actually pretty hard for me to write; I kept getting side tracked as I tried to recreate the distraction process.

Yes, I was distracted by the distraction.

That is precisely what happens when you try to color when there are too many visual and audio disturbances.

It's not enough to practice coloring every day

I know many of you made New Year's resolutions to improve your Copic coloring this year. And all those 30 day coloring challenge people? They've inspired you with their talk about how great they feel and all the amazing things they've learned. Practing your coloringisnt like the piano lessons you were forced to take when you were eight. Coloring practice is fun and rewarding. 

But sitting down and logging minutes with a marker in your hand isn't the point.

The point is to be learning, growing, and improving.

That requires full brain engagement.

You can't do that with episodes of CSI MIAMI MEETS NCIS SVU AT JAG playing in the background.

It doesn't matter if you mute it. Your brain will still check in with the programming on a very frequent basis.

Oh, I really like this part. They just don't make cops like Jerry Orbach anymore!

Turn the tube off.

And if you're like me, turn the podcast off.

Maybe you have to turn off music with vocals.

It all depends upon what what twinges the "hey, let's think about something else" process in your brain. For most people, distractions are mostly the visual kind like the television or the grandkids playing in the corner of the room. But it might also be a window that displays scenery you find appealing.

For other people, it's the sound of voices. I can't concentrate when people sing on the radio because I find myself stopping to listen to the words.

It can also be certain sounds.

I have an app that plays environmental recordings in my studio. I have to be super picky about which sounds I play because I find bird calls to be a distraction. Rain or waves I can handle but as soon as an animal chimes in, I get pulled out of the art-zone and into the

Is that a bluebird I hear? I wonder how long they had to wait to capture a bluebird in that spring meadow recording? Where was the microphone? Was it camouflaged? I wonder how much sound technicians earn annually. Seems like an easy job to set up a mic in a field and then wait...

See what I mean?

Be honest. You know what rings your bell. Avoid that stuff.

20 minutes is easy

I know you have twenty minutes in you. Find a quiet spot, away from the household traffic and the buzz of life.

Practice coloring for 20 minutes in a distraction free environment.

You'll get more done and see more growth in 20 minutes of dedication than in 2 hours of the same project in front of the television.