Spreading yourself too thin…
Being full of ambition and having a passion for everything creative is all very well, and i am sure that it might put me in a good light with some people who might find it impressive or refreshing. It might even encourage others or give a kick up the arse to colleagues who have spent too many years sitting on their laurels doing just enough to get through. But. When is wanting to do too much counter productive? This is a question that i have to ask myself, am I someone who is like a dog playing with a toy that keeps getting bored with it and wanting to play with something else…
Not that my career follows this analogy, but certainly my private work and hobbies does, from playing music in a band to photography to illustration, to fine art, to video making to learning HTML/CSS to build websites for small companies.
All of which are in the same vein of design/creativity and all of which are in an attempt to make more money one day, but each require a lifetimes worth of learning to be the best of the bunch, as the old saying goes, “Jack of all trades master of none.” This is to some extent true and i am aware that I might not be the best at whatever creative outlets i am switching between, but I think its important to have tried and tested as much as possible before i say i want to do this for the rest of my life and put all my effort in to something. I guess it all boils down to wanting to create something, anything, whether it be a nice picture, a striking logo or a well designed and built website.
Some people are able to just straight away find out what they are best at, for my girlfriend its music, writing it, performing it and being involved in it. For Aaron Miller its straight up illustrations, this guys knows what he’s good at and so far he seems to be carving a very promising career for himself doing it. Another example is the talented Tom Skyrme, a good friend of mine who has been writing music since an early age and has developed his style over the years and now writes/produces music for adverts which takes creating music to an almost mechanical and methodical approach, yet he still learns to play Jazz guitar, does photography on an old Russian camera, Dj’s electronic music and never seems to be spreading himself too thinly so to speak… My question is this… Is this because a person has already carved themselves a career or already got a firm grasp of one discipline before moving on to learning another or just that they are better than me?!
Not that I am bad at whatever things i turn my hand too, and i spend a lot of energy and not to mention money but i think i just should spend more time on something before i move on to the next activity. But its hard to when you have a project you get hyped about like taking pictures of a band, then you think “Hang on i could do some filming for them too”… Then I get chatting to someone down the pub one evening who needs a website doing, and all of a sudden i’m doing that, then I get a booking for a Wedding at the end of the year. Now does this mean i am spread too thin or just a busy person who is working on a bunch of creative projects. and its not because i will do them all half arsed, just that i love the fact that i CAN work across a range of mediums and calling on skills that i have developed throughout my life.
More than anything spreading myself across a range of projects means that i get to meet a huge range of people, and am thought of as more than just someone that can design business cards and letterheads. Talking to people who sit neatly in a box tends to mean they find it hard to ink outside of the box, whereas i love to think how my skills might work in other areas of industry, photography for web designers or print work for web designers as a JV on business. Making short videos for people who have small businesses that might not have thought how that could increase brand awareness or coming up with a marketing strategy for the release of a new album for an artist, Thinking the whole process, from my print knowledge for Packaging and promotional materials, to shooting promo videos, making youtube virals, portrait shots, making flash web banners to go on Myspace. This is not something that is unheard of but i can’t imagine being anything other than this… working on a huge range of projects and improving a range of skills..
Because if this is being a “Jack of all trades and a master of none”, then thats alright with me! It might just take me longer to get there than everyone else.. But i know that I’ll get there!