So Many CCS Envelopes

(One of several CCS envelopes I’ve drawn on.)

Working at CCS was awesome. I worked there from the Spring of 1996 to the Summer of 2000. In that time I literally made 100’s of drawings. If I had to try to make an accurate count of how many drawings I made in those four years I’d say it was close to 1500, at least, and there is no way I could have logged in that much time drawing if it wasn’t for my job at CCS. It got to the point where I would bring a giant portfolio to work that could hold 18″ x 24″ pads of paper. I would pull up an empty chair next to my desk, lay the giant pad of paper on it and work on BIG drawings. Sometimes I would even bring in a set of watercolors and make little paintings at work. The only way to get good at something is to do it a lot. And the term “a lot” is actually a huge understatement. To get good at something, and I mean really good, you have to do it more than a lot. It has to be an obsessive compulsion. You have to work at it several hours a day and working at CCS gave me that opportunity. I also played countless games of chess, read a ton of books and made a lot of friends that I’m still friends with 16 years later. I have a small stack of these envelopes and I always love rediscovering them from time to time. They bring back a lot of good memories and remind me that opportunities can come out of really unexpected places. I did not know about the 10,000 hour rule back in those days and although I was obsessed with filling up sketchbook upon sketchbook I did not realize at the time what a great position I was in. I was totally logging in my 10,000 hours and I was lucky enough to be getting paid to do it. My job wasn’t to sit at a desk and draw all day. My job was to sell skateboards and help customers. (At the time, CCS was considered the largest mail order skateboard company on the planet.) The general rule was that as long as you answered the phone and sold as many Tom Penny Mushroom skateboards as you could, you were pretty much allowed to do whatever you wanted in between phone calls. So, in a way, I was getting paid to draw. The point is this. You might be in the middle of a great opportunity right now that you should be taking advantage of because you never know the impact it could have on you later in life. Four years after leaving CCS I opened my art gallery and selling my artwork has been my main source of income since then. If I hadn’t had the good fortune to work at a place where I could make 1,500+ drawings who knows where I’d be right now. I don’t know where I’d be, but one thing I’m certain of is that I’d be 1,500 pieces of art behind where I am now. And let me tell you, that is A LOT of practice I would have missed out on. I’m going to end with this. If there’s something you want to be good at, don’t waste your time not practicing it. Turn off Netflix, put your phone on airplane mode and get lost in the thing. Get really lost in it. It’s the only way you’ll ever find yourself.

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