Repetition is the key...

 'Repetition is the key to success'.


This phrase is the standard explanation for anyone who wants to become an expert at anything. I noticed it again recently on a creativity blog. Only this time, it caught my attention as I began to cross examin it against what I do . As a 3D designer, I  digitally manipulate physical elements for a living. Putting together something that looks impressive in this very competitive field often requires an original approach. An approach that usually makes a difference between average and professional work. It doesn't seem like the phrase 'repetition is the key to success' applies here, because every project requires a new approach.


To get better at their craft, rappers don't rap the same songs over and over. They need to continually invent new raps. That's incredibly hard to do consistently. That's creative.


In my field for example, what generates expertise is deliberate practice. You simply cannot become an expert unless you put in the incredibly exhausting hours in, just to understand the intricacies of dealing with a large amount of variables (lighting, materials, form, colour,  texture, depth, composition etc...) all at the same time. What's more , these elements keep evolving. New materials emerge, new ways of lighting a room are created etc... As a result, most 3D designers give up in the effort to keep up with the cutting edge in their field. So you simply cannot repeat the same thing over and over again, especially in creative fields. However you do need a huge amount of deliberate practice.

So the phrase 'repetition is the key to success' needs to be taken with a grain of salt


Deliberate practice sharpens skills, and you need cutting edge skills in most creative fields. You cannot be the person with the fancy ideas expecting others to execute them anymore. Don't get mad at me, that's just the way it is.