Learn To Learn

September 17, 2012
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My next series of essays will be on how to improve at your craft. Please stay tuned!

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21 Responses to Learn To Learn

  1. Tyler on September 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I never thought of that before — but you’re right. All the things I’m best at, I learned through trial/error/repetition/intentionality. Certainly teachers help, but their job is more to ignite curiosity and point us in profitable directions than to “teach” in the way that word is commonly used. Good stuff :)

    • stephen on September 17, 2012 at 9:45 pm

      That’s right, teacher’s do help, and I hope no one thinks I’m denying the necessity of teachers– I’m more advocating the responsibility of learners– thanks for the comments, Tyler!

  2. Jason Ogayon on September 17, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Ah, your insights are always wonderful. Thank you very much for them. :)

    • stephen on September 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Your welcome!

  3. Amber Engelmann on September 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I just found this site yesterday, and a couple of times I found myself close to crying at the beauty of the message you were sending through these comics. They are very warm and enticing and I fell in love with them instantly. Thank you so much for sharing them!

    As for this particular comic, you’re absolutely right! We are our own teachers — because no teacher besides ourselves can force us to learn anything! If we do not want to learn something the teacher is offering us, it is likely we will not properly learn it until we are interested and willing to take on the new skill. And no teacher is more in tune and ready to help us as we are!

    • stephen on September 17, 2012 at 9:44 pm

      Thanks Amber! It’s a real comfort for me to know that things that are true for me are true for people over the internet that I’ve never met! It makes me feel like we share something that’s outside of ourselves.

  4. Ben Kreis on September 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Learning this lesson the hard way. You are spot on.

    • stephen on September 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

      I feel you, Ben. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Kat R on September 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Ahhh this is so true. All the teaching in the world won’t do you good if you don’t bother to actually learn. I knew a lot of kids in college (went to an art college) who never improved or tried or anything and just wasted their time there because of it. If you aren’t willing to learn no one can teach you.

  6. Pam on September 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Such wisdom! Have your publishers seen this? Maybe they’ll send you on a new trajectory!

  7. Tractor on September 24, 2012 at 3:39 am

    beautifull man, this made my day :D

  8. Kimberly H Fouxey on March 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Great stuff, thanks for posting, I shared these with facebook!!

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  10. Kathy R. on November 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I have always felt “less than” next to my fellow artists (and I even hesitate to call myself that) who have had the benefit of college instruction in there chosen craft. This has changed my perception of that (a little-still needs some work).
    Thank You!

    • stephen on November 25, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      I never took a class on comics in college– but I taught a continuing education class on comics at my college after graduating. You can study on your own just fine! And I like your work anyways. You are an artist!

    • Andrzej on July 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Just caught on your last few blog posts, Megan. Why, haven’t YOU need busy, Mrs!! Congrats on all the fab stuff. And I emsaphite with the rewrites I’m doing mine at the moment too (or rather not doing them ) xxx

  11. Karen Hyams on November 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    This is THE most important thing you can get out of school – not just learning how to learn, but learning how to teach yourself. Once I figured that out, I quit school and got to work.

    I love your site, and your lighthearted approach is great. Plus people obviously love you, which has to feel wonderful. Keep up the inspiring work :)

    • stephen on December 2, 2013 at 7:58 pm

      Will do!

  12. Josie on November 29, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I am an artist of the writerly persuasion, slowly working my way towards creating something for a publisher to love. Just discovered your site today and am going through it page by page and loving it so far! I definitely plan to share your site with a few of my less-confident writerly friends. This cartoon reminds me of a college class I took so many years ago, a class titled “Becoming a Master Student” which taught you how to learn. It was a very useful course, and came with a book that was also useful, even long after the class ended. If you haven’t run into it, you might want to look it up, it’s got all sorts of different tricks and tips and basically says “choose which of these works best for you, because everyone’s different and needs different techniques to get to the same end point.” If you HAVE seen it, well then I guess I’m preaching to the choir and should shut up now.

    Just my $0.02 worth…

    • stephen on December 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      Thanks Josie! Learning to learn has been the most exciting I learned since graduating college. I wish I had known it when I was in school!

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