In his guest contribution from last year, Simon touched upon Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours theory — that you need to spend 10,000 hours at anything in order to be great. There’s a reference to the same idea on johnson banks’ Twitter profile, pointing to Michael Johnson’s post from 2009, 10,000 hours of graphic design?
“A good 4 or 5 years after graduation is needed for designers to begin to find their feet.”
— Michael Johnson
Image via siobhankeaney.com
Malcolm’s book, Outliers (where he mentions the 10,000 hour theory) is available here:
One I’ve yet to read.
In his blog post, Michael also cites a quote from Siobhan Keaney who once told him, “Designers learn in their twenties, make their mark in their thirties, and consolidate in their forties.”
That’d give me seven years left to make my mark. But what if you’ve chosen to enter the profession in your 30s, 40s, 50s? You still might need those 10,000 hours, but if you love what you do, with enough energy, practice, and curiosity I don’t think it matters what age you are.
Or, maybe Siobhan was using age to put the number of hours into context.