Carnegie Hall

They say that anyone can do anything. It is only a question of how hard they work. But is it a matter of practice? What about talent? Can I learn to do something I have no talent for? I always wanted to learn how to draw. People tried to teach me, I bought many books, but nothing seemed to help. I became desperate, until one day I found a book called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”.
I tried the exercises and was still quite skeptical about them. Then, there was an exercise where I had to place Picasso’s drawing of Stravinsky upside down, then copy it following the contour of the lines. I didn’t quite understand what I was doing and why, but somehow it came out quite acceptable and even I could admit there was a similarity to the original. I liked the exercise and I kept working on it for a while. Every time I saw a portrait I placed it upside down and tried to copy it. I was not at all satisfied with my progress and thought I was hopeless. One day, a friend came to visit and saw a portrait of a politician that I had just made using this upside down method. “What made you draw this awful, disgusting politician?” he asked me. I apologized, saying I had seen the picture on the front page of the newspaper earlier that day. At the same time I realized that, ‘wow, he actually recognized the face of that politician’. I was so surprised and proud of myself that at that moment I decided to quit. This little success was enough for me to understand that

  1. Anyone can do anything.
  2. Practice alone is not enough. You must have a method, a system that works for you.
  3. Talent is a complicated matter and I will have to write about it some other time.

All the drawing methods that I had tried might have helped millions of people, but they were useless for me, no matter how hard I practiced. I had to find the one way that worked for me. It is the same with my students: whatever works for one, will not necessarily work for another.
So next time someone tells you the old joke about the tourist in New York who asks a person on the street : “How do you get to Carnegie hall?”
Don’t just answer “practice, practice…” but rather “practice in a way that works for you”.
If you would like to read more about those subjects I welcome you to visit my website at

You can also contact me at

Also, if you have any ideas for things that you would like me to discuss in future posts, please write to me.

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