yes, the grandson of the father of psychoanalysis, sigmund freud. i just finished the most fascinating article on lucian freud in the february 2012 issue of vanity fair. (did you read it?) freud passed away last year at the age of 89, leaving a strong legacy behind. he is survived by 14 children by six women, most of whom were models for his paintings. most of his paintings were nudes, or rather "naked portraits" as freud preferred to call them. "for the last 57 years of his life, freud painted standing up rather than sitting down..." and a painting could take 6-18 months to complete. he worked seven days a week, sometimes around the clock, until the last days of his life. needless to say, his work ethic didn't please his children as they struggled for his attention and time. this need to connect and spend uninterrupted time with their father explains why many of freud's children ended up posing for him. (the entire article is definitely worth a read.)
this is what it takes to be great at something. you find your passion and put in the hours required to become a master. this idea reminds me of "the 10,000-hour rule" proposed by the author malcolm gladwell in his book outliers. gladwell states, "achievement is talent plus preparation..." and continues, "...researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours." have you read gladwell's book, outliers? it's a thought provoking read (as are his other books, tipping point and blink) explaining why some people are far more successful than others, and surprisingly it's not solely dependent on talent.
sadly, i don't think i've done anything in my life for a total of 10,000 hours except sleep. ok, perhaps reading. (i'll give myself some credit.) does anyone want to hire me? apparently, i'm an expert at reading. how long would it take a person to become an expert at something if they practiced, say, 8 hours a day, seven days a week? given this magic number, are you an expert at anything? or is there a talent you would devote the time to and like to master? plenty to think about...i better get to it.
source: images found via emrah yucel