Pleasurable proficiency

Pleasurable proficiency -- Mervi Emilia

A young woman carefully adds thin sheets of gold onto something. In the background you can hear floaty and jubilant piano music. The young woman tells about learning her profession, watching the masters in their work, and wishing to be some day one of them. In the end she gets that something done. It's an onion dome of a church, golden and shiny. A Finnish coffee brand has been advertising with this sort of commercial short movies, which showcase craftsmanship, since before I was born. In these ads, professionals of different fields are shown to make anything from a skateboard to jewellery, from clothing to chocolate delicacy. The commercials are efficient, they hook you to watch and listen. With emotion and skill, the slogan goes, as the coffee is made.

Don't you just love watching other people doing things, preferably doing things well? You like to watch television shows, which showcase professionals at their work. Crime scene investigators montaging through the evidence, fictional brain surgeon doing a possibly life saving job, renovations and all those cooking programs. You are pinning those instruction on how to make perfect braids, or easily make a new bag. You love skimming through the DIY and food blogs, reading the instructions, watching the images, enjoying the proficiency porn.

Creation gives satisfaction. Not only creating yourself, but also watching others create. There's a thrill in seeing the process, how something is made. Perhaps it's the pleasure of learning, dopamine being released in your brain as a reward. There's also the rush of relief, if what is being done is a success. They made it! If they didn't, the next time they will. Or the next. It will happen, one day it will. The coffee ads tap into that pleasure, tying it into the product. Drink this coffee and you will get that same satisfaction you gained from watching this, the ad promises.

I have been thinking about making videos of my drawings. So far I've been taking process photos and posting them on Instagram. A good portfolio, they say, include notes and images of the process. Case studies, details, because they show your expertise. And because they feel good for anyone browsing around. That feeling of doing it yourself.

It is highly enjoyable to witness expertise. A skilled speaker giving a speech is beautiful. A talented artist making her art is art herself. A clockmaker fixing a clock with precision is fascinating. When you do something well, it doesn't only show your skill. It also gives the pleasure of proficiency to anyone who gets to witness it.

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Hello there!
I'm Mervi Eskelinen

I'm an artist, nerd and creative business wizard, dedicated to help you build the business of your dreams, market your creativity, and find a meaningful way to support your lifestyle.

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