Learning to Fish: Some Things My ZBrush Class is Teaching Me About How and Why I Learn.
(This is a stream of consciousness post. Just run with me for a minute while I talk these things out. Hopefully, it will make sense.)
Today was a breakthrough class day for me. I am 5 weeks into my Mastering ZBrush class, but today, something clicked. I have started to understand core concepts and *why* i should do things in ZBrush. It’s so easy to jump in and play, but it’s a fairly intimidating UI if you want to know *why* you are doing things. It takes so much patience and practice, but today, it clicked. I comprehend much of the important concepts now.
Some of you guys know I used to teach. Teaching is the best! But, as a student again, I have become pretty obsessed with figuring out how I learn best. Today, I think I might have figured some of this out. (Remember, this is how I learn. You may learn in a completely different way or prefer another way. You should share how you learn in the comments!)
Usually, I get REALLY into something for a brief period of time, then lose interest. Part of this is because my mind moves around a lot. It stays sharper this way. Part of it is because distractions are everywhere. I want to learn ZBrush! Wait! Kim Kardashian is wearing new lip gloss! I want to make Art! Wait! Wolf Blitzer is saying something about something and he’s saying it very dramatically!
The things I love most are always the things I stick with. Drumming, Art, whatever. I love learning about everything, but there are only a few things I truly love doing all the time. The patterns I see in the things I love tend to follow this outline and there is also usually an “unsolveable puzzle” involved. (you can never learn everything about drumming, you can never learn everything about making Art, etc.)
I will use fishing as the metaphor to explain my own process. It’s easier to understand this way.
How I Learn
“I want to fish.”
1. Stage one involves experimentation with zero knowledge or understanding, NO teaching or assistance, only exploration without guidance + documentation of discoveries (this is 100% self-discovery). This is my favorite part by far. If something catches my attention and fires up my imagination, I am usually hooked. Also, there is usually some sort of unsolvable puzzle involved in the things I love. (i.e. you can always learn new things with drumming, you can always try new things with art, etc.)
*from this point on, read and discover everything you can about fishing. this never ends.*
“Teach me how to fish.” (from this point, for true learning, all distractions must be off! Dedicated focus is required.)
2. High-level instruction: core principles and concepts (What is a fish? What is a spear? What is a fishing pole? Why do we fish?).
3. Practice core principles, attempt to understand high level concepts (Spear vs. Pole vs. Hand vs. Net) Not much experimentation here. Only practicing what is taught.
“What do I do with the fish I catch?”
4. Depth instruction: details, techniques, controls, adjustments and why i should do these things.
5. Peer and professor discussions of ideas and principles (have a drink, jump into a forum, talk about fishing)
6. Experimentation and practice of everything learned above
“Let’s eat a fish!”
7. formal assignment and application (homework/deadlines)
8. Review/assess the meal (the assignment).
How do you learn best?
- badanalog answered: I tend to learn best when i’m trying to solve a very specific problem. and I’m happiest given lots of time for experimentation.
- scaredofsalad posted this