These are my two favorite works of art. On the left is a drawing by Vincent Van Gogh completed in 1880. The drawing on the right was completed by Van Gogh in 1882, just two years later. Look at either of them separately and it's easy to pass them off as unremarkable. But side by side the progression of skill is impossible to ignore.
In just two years, Van Gogh added emotion, texture, a third dimension, and a sense of place. These drawings are proof that Van Gogh's ability as an artist was not innate; he learned and improved and progressed simply because he stuck with it.
I love these drawings because they remind me that I'm never going to wake up one morning and be perfect at anything. When we think of a master like Van Gogh, it's easy to forget that there was once a time when he was an amateur like everyone else.
I'm not the first to compare these two drawings. I originally read about them in a blog post at Signal vs. Noise, who I believe pulled it from this book.