Consistency Creates Craftsmanship

The skill that I am best at, is illustration; more specifically, drawing portraits.

Personally, I believe that an artist needs to have the ability to simulate reality to a high degree first, before even contemplating communicating a deeper message. Even Pablo Picasso, who is world renowned for his abstract material like Guernica, could create super realistic art first. To that extent, it’s imperative that an artist puts in the time, to master the skill of realistic illustration. And putting in time, basically comes down to consistency.

Understanding your weaknesses

The first time you create something, you think it’s pretty good because you have the mindset of  a novice. But attempting to draw, over and over and over again, with different subject matters, with different mediums, with different time allotments and with different levels of efforts, allows you to understand over time, what weaknesses you have. I live in South Africa, and I’ve struggled to find a art mentor, but drawing consistency eventually highlighted many of my weaknesses, and then with  subsequent efforts resulted in rectification of those errors. Thus your levels of craftsmanship increase through constant practice.

Appreciation of Difference

I am currently working with a fantastic illustrator on a storybook. A personal project that I am quite excited about. Consistency in practicing my own art has made me realized the boundaries of my own style, and potential of others. This is so true, when I now look at other peoples art and see beautiful work, where previously I couldn’t. I know the difficulties associated with what I do, and that leads me to an appreciation of other people’s work. Their line is different, their use of color has a specific technique I can’t replicate, their imagery is much more vivid. And that’s great; because appreciation of others and their work leads to better things. In this case, I recognized my illustrator friend is better than me, in a specific style, so it’s better if she illustrates the book rather than me. Consistency leads us to understanding ourselves, our boundaries, and that understanding deepens our appreciation for difference and focuses our efforts. Thus your levels of craftsmanship increase.


Doing work continuously over time, ultimately leads us to getting faster at producing output, and increasing the quality of that output; this is effectively known as productivity. I now have much more certainty, that I can create a fantastic portrait, without worrying about messing things up. Also, when mistakes do crop up, I am confident that I can fix things and get back on track. Consistency brings about the confidence. Consistency brings about speed and  productivity.


I think it’s important for everyone to be a high skilled craftsman at something especially at an early age; for reasons I’ll delve into in another post. But the craftsmanship is something that comes from consistency; working at your craft day in day out, until the process bears fruit of appreciation, understanding and wisdom. And these are all values that are well worth pursuing.

Photo by Rober González on Unsplash





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