If you don’t know this already, I am committed to teaching you “how” to learn rather than “what” to learn. Along with my own ideas about learning I researched the styles of learning because once we understand our strengths and weaknesses we will be able to exercise and balance out our approach to art. We all learn differently and have a unique combination of the following learning styles; visual, auditory, verbal, kinesthetic, logical, interpersonal or intrapersonal.
These seven different ways of learning can come in any combination or we could have one dominant style. This does not mean we can’t strengthen our less dominant styles and become even better at our favourite ways of learning when we exercise these “memory muscles.”
Research then led me to a word I now adore “Memletic.” Now I did not make this word up, someone else did, but I love it so much that I’m going to share it’s meaning with you. It’s simply a combination of the words “memory” and “ athletics” so it’s about strengthening your memory styles and capacity. As I’m all about building such things as “felting muscle” and “hand eye coordination”, I was excited to find such an amazing word to explain how important it is to address this subject.
So what are the different ways of learning I hear you asking? Let’s run through them now and see how my way of teaching addresses these distinct styles.
Ten percent of what we learn comes from reading, which means that when you read my Feltorials you will only retain 10% of it. This explains why reading through it is a little confusing, to some degree, straight up. However if you approach this first read with the expectation of only retaining 10% you will pick up exactly what you need which is a general overview of what you have ahead of each step when you are doing it.
Listening and seeing
Twenty percent of what we learn comes from listening and another thirty percent from seeing, this means you need to listen and look at the photos, comments and questions from others and learn from their experiences. Research the artists you admire by going back through all of their images and reading all of their comments and previously gifted advice. If these things are done together your learning capacity comes up to 50%.
Discussion and experiment
Now if we discuss this with someone our percentage goes up to 70% and if we actually do it and experiment our capacity to learn is at 80% which is why we need to have all of these other factors in place to get the most out of doing something. This is why we had to create a video course which teaches in tandem with the written and photographic version of each Feltorial. This method of learning is by far the most successful and enjoyable but the most demanding of the teacher.
Luckily the only way up from this 80% is to teach it and then your learning capacity goes up to 95%. This is true if you teach your 10 year old or a class full of adults. The describing of the act allows us a new perspective of the lesson and gains us an extra 15% understanding.
This is why I love to teach and the reason I class myself as a dedicated learner. It is also the reason we have designed our Feltorial Series in a way that addressed each of these learning styles. Finally we are putting them all together into an amazing exercise plan so you can strengthen your ability to learn.
My addition to these tried and true findings on learning are this. Look, listen and copy the artists that resonate with you. Pay homage to them so that you can feel good about this copying because when you do pay homage it creates an empowering circle of inspiration amongst like minded creatives.
Be your best you
Repetition and refinement are fundamental cornerstones to the foundations of your unique skills. Creating a great exercise regime for your hand eye coordination and muscle memory, both physically and mentally. Stay open to new ways and don’t just think outside the box, work out how the box will help you create an effect too. No restrictions means limitless ideas and inspiration and my final “best practice workplace” advice is DO NOT compare yourself with anyone other than yourself. If you adhere to these core ideals you are guaranteed to progress and grow as an artist. Remember art is a very personal thing but don’t take it too personally, just let it happen and enjoy the journey, then move onto the next piece of art finding your unique niche and being your best you!
My favourite advice of all is to just keep stabbing, it’s all about the hours spent on your apprenticeship, oh and listen to the fibre!