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The Graffiti Machine

Nov 15, 2023

Ever feel like you’re putting in the hours practicing, but not making the progress you feel you should be? I’ve definitely experienced this a lot over my life. The reason is most likely not a lack of commitment, but it lies in the way you’re practicing. I first came across the concept of “deliberate practice” from a book called 'The Talent Code'.

Deliberate practice is a more purposeful approach to developing skills using focused, repetitive practice rather than simply putting in the hours. With deliberate practice, you’re hyper-focused on what you’re doing, you have a specific goal in mind, and you’re out of your comfort zone.

With this level of intentionality, it helps your brain wire and strengthen transmitters faster than something like practicing casually while watching TV. I can remember back when I was trying to get better at graffiti letters in the early '90s. I spent a couple of years fiddling around with different things, but in 1993, I was given some letters by one of my mentors, Eklipse, and told to practice those letters exactly.

Without knowing it, I was in a deep state of deliberate practice. I would draw those letters over and over, hyper-focused on every detail, trying to get it all right. I made more progress in two months than I had in the previous two years. This can be applied to any skill you want to get better at.

Definitely something I find harder and harder to do in this era of distraction we are currently in.


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