I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase jack of all trades? I’m here today thinking about if this is actually true. The whole phrase is "Jack of all trades master of none"; a pessimistic viewpoint, truly. As an artist that tends to find myself having many interests (Digital drawing, crafts, sculpting, dice making, cosplay to name a few), this phrase feels disheartening. Essentially, it’s saying you need to choose only one path to be an expert at it. While I can understand needing a few thousand hours under your belt to truly gain any sort of proficiency in the thing you’re doing, saying that this is the sole hobby or career or path feels limiting. Not to say that having hands in a bunch of pies isn’t limiting in and of itself (I’m sure we have all experienced too many options of what to watch on Netflix) but just because you split your choices, your hobbies being various, shouldn't mean you can’t become some sort of skilled at it.
I have always drawn visual art. One of my earliest memories of this is pausing the VHS tape of Beauty and the Beast just to try and understand the forms that Lumiere had and when the VHS would eventually resume trying to go back to that exact frame and pause again. In high school and college drawing took a major backseat. It wasn’t just on the back burner, it was off the stove. I had got it in my head that I wasn’t any good at this passion that I loved. That I wouldn’t make anything from it. That I was wasting my time and if I was to be a master at something, it wasn’t going to be this. In recent years I’ve picked it back up again, moving into digital art; something my nine year old self wouldn’t have even dreamed possible. Just a few months ago, I was able to participate in my very first art show, an achievement in and of itself. Friends and family came to support but I also saw strangers enjoying my art and even going so far as to purchase some.
Now while I’m not claiming to be a master, I am claiming to be an artist. If I wish to be a master of anything it’s of learning. Of evolving. Of learning from my mistakes and fixing them. Of coming up with new thoughts and ideas and perspective to better the hobbies I enjoy, not just the ones I’m good at. That’s the kind of artist I am. And while THAT did take me countless hours to master; the mistakes, the trauma I had to work through, the achievements and excepting those achievements, celebrating even the smallest improvement, tearing my hair out when I’ve had some kind of block and being patient with myself to overcome it. It was worth it. "Jack of all trades master of none"? No. Passionate about many trades, experience in some.
Have many hobbies, Geeks. Love them all. Learn from them all and don’t feel like you have to master any of them.
Sent from my iPad