When I want to learn something, I can be very stubborn. I don't want to ask for help, despite the fact that I've been lucky enough to have had many great teachers (parents, relatives, academic and art teachers and professors, dance instructors, bosses, friends, etc. etc.) I'd hope to be able to say with some truth that I'm not STUPID about my aversion to asking for help, although I'm sure it's held me back more than once.
The pleasure I feel after figuring out a complicated problem or process on my own, though, is worth it. Sure, maybe it would be easier or the results would be more beautiful if I consulted the internet or sat down with an expert. But I find it so much more valuable to take those first steps by myself – especially in my art – make mistakes and fuck shit up and learn enough to see where I can improve. And that's when it's time, for me, to start asking questions of others.
I've been thinking about this because I started some areas of beading on the pair of shorts I've been embellishing. Instead of reading pages and pages of how-to's or trying to copy another designer's motif, I just saw what beads I had in front of me and picked up my needle and thread. I'm sure the patterns and quality of my technique will vary as I move forward with the project, but by the time I'm done I will have learned plenty for next time.