Slow if fast, fast is slow

I've heard the expression "slow is fast, fast is slow" for many years as I've trained. Frankly, I always thought I understood what it meant. And I did—do—but I guess my understanding of it has broadened.

Sorry, but I don't have time to go into all of it right now (I know you were just dying to know), but I thought I would share an interesting visual example of this particular maxim, one you can try for yourself and even demonstrate to a class.

All you need is a piece of scrap paper and a pen or pencil. Your task is to draw as straight a line as you can over and over, 10 times. First, do it as fast as you can. Then do it again, but go as slow as you can. Below is the result of my attempt:

Quite a difference, huh? The first bunch of lines is fairly scattered and broad, while the second batch is not only pretty consistent with smaller variability, it's also darker, or more intense. Bare in mind, that I'm a graphic designer and illustrator by trade; I've been drawing my whole life, and I am no exception to this principle.

If you practice your technique as fast and powerful as you can all the time you get a technique that is fairly scattered, with varied results. However, if you practice slowly and precisely, your technique tends to be more consistent and even more intense.

Just something to think about. Happy training!


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