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Diving In vs. Studying

Apropos of...maybe something (maybe something I posted yesterday, in fact), I've been screwing around with Adobe Illustrator - an unwieldy monster of software that can be intimidating to the folks who are paid to use it. I am not so paid, nor do I have any training in this area, but having heard about the "image tracing" process, I decided to jump in and see what I could do. I'm probably wasting loads of time, and it's frequently frustrating, but there's enough motivation to keep me going. When I get truly stuck, a little Google search typically helps out.

The whole thing makes me wish that more jobs allowed for this type of noodling around. Sure, you've probably heard about 3M and other companies that allow for personal project time. Do many of those personal projects involve butting your head up against a new tool or process, whether not there's a potential product on the other side?