Well I’ve gone and done it now. I managed to create the two and a half hour speed painting. By now you might be thinking two and a half hours for a speed painting, that’s hardly impressive. You’re right, it’s not. I’m painting in church tomorrow. The painting is going to take about three or four minutes tomorrow but it’s a really graphic design that needs to be crisp and clean. So I prepared in advance. The congregation won’t see all that, they will just hopefully see a well done and somewhat surprising piece. Two and a half hours work for three minutes.

But that is the thing most people don’t understand about speed painting. I remember once at a live event, I did about a six minute piece of art. Afterwards someone asked if they could buy the piece and asked me for a price. I know I should have said more than this, but for the type of event that it was, I said $50 which would basically have covered my expenses. The look I got said it all. It was clear he was thinking, “I just watched you spend six minutes painting it and you want $50? That’s, what, $600 an hour?” That’s the thing most people don’t get. The reason I can do a large painting in six minutes is because I have worked and practiced that piece for hours, fine tuning and refining it, not to mention years and years before an easel and a sketch book learning all the skills it takes to break an image down to the basic shapes. I can speed paint because of a lot of advance preparation.

Why do I share this? Because what we do as creatives have value. Our skills are God-given, but they are also developed through years of work.

This is a lesson I am having a hard time learning. I share it so that you will learn it too.

Don’t undervalue yourself.


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