I’ve often heard the expression, “jack of all trades, master of none”. The idea behind this phrase is obvious enough: if I spend my time doing a little bit of everything, I may end up being versatile, but I will never, ever be truly great at any one thing. And if I want to be a great painter, I’d better drop the camera, the audio gear, the camping, the website work, the writing, the wood work, the electronics, and everything else, and just paint.
I’ve been told that if I make a business card, I should only put ‘painter’, and leave out the “photo, video, sound” part. If I make a website for my paintings, I should avoid even mentioning that I also do photography. If I really want to pursue photography, then I should make up a fake name and make a new website for just my photography. I shouldn’t let people know that I like to do more than just one thing. I shouldn’t get distracted by doing more than one thing.
But, is this really good advice to follow? Does a wide focus spread across many fields eliminate the possibility of truly mastering any one of them, or does the knowledge gained in one discipline inform the decisions made in another?
Continue reading Jack of All Trades, Master of None?
I had just put in yet another 14 hour day with Brad. We were closing in on the 90 hour mark for that week, and I was worn out. After the short walk home, I stumbled through the front door, and headed straight for bed. It was nearly 4 am. My shoes were still on my feet, and I was asleep before my head even hit the pillow.
Around 9 am, my phone rang.
“Kyle, put together an art show for November.”
I rolled over and went back to sleep.
I crawled out of bed around noon and made my way over to the secret lab / collaborative studio (otherwise known as “Brad’s house”).
“Hmm…I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamt that I got a call from my old high school teacher, ordering me to put together an art show for Bob’s gallery. Weird.”
I checked my phone’s call history. It wasn’t a dream. I did agree to curate an art show.
Brad looked at me, “Have you ever curated a show before?”
“Do you know how to curate a show?”
“So, why did you agree to it?”
Because it’s a show!
Never turn down a show. That’s the rule. Show. Show your work. Always be ready. Be ready for three shows at once, just in case; and if you are already booked, work harder and make it work.
Continue reading Just Like Old Times