Jillian Tamaki


Nov 1st, 2009

The Marathon snakes a block away from my house in Greenpoint. I always like watching a bit of the NYC Marathon, even though it can be a bit of an inconvenience should you happen to have business on the other side of the street.

Today I was lucky enough to be there just as the elite women’s pack was running past. I got a little teary-eyed, actually. It’s not every day you see someone performing at that level, the culmination of years of training, sacrifices, and regime. You’re watching what this person works towards every single day of their life.

An artist does not perform in this way. Accepting an award is not the same thing. The breakthroughs and struggles are usually experienced alone. But the idea of regime is not dissimilar. Building your skill as an artist is not too very different from an athlete conditioning herself DAILY to perform when it counts.

Sometimes it seems students expect to improve by simply being enrolled in an art institution or completing projects. It’s like expecting to win a marathon simply by owning running shoes or doing a lap or two a few times a week (which, by the way, is pretty reflective of my own running routine). Be prepared to sweat, struggle, and make sacrifices to improve, if that’s truly what you want.