Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Specialist or a jack of all trades?
Ozoneocean at 7:57AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 28,588
joined: 1-2-2004
Which do you prefer?

-Keep doing something until you get really expert at it and then keep doing it some more till you're a master and then doing it even more and just doing that thing until you're the best in the world at it?

-Diversify: try a lot of different things and switch between them constantly, depending on whichever you feel like doing or feel is best for the time or situation at hand, eventually becoming quite good at a lot of different things, but not a real master at any?

I'm in the second category and I'd tend to think most people would be. It just seems more natural and human.
I was just listening to a famous Jazz musician saying how he never changed his set list and that was why he was a master at it.

I Couldn't keep on doing the same thing myself. Can't even stick to the same drawing styles, art materials, characters… or even just doing art. I like to keep trying whatever seems good, useful or fun, get as good at it as I need to and then move on if something else comes along.

I see the same thing in online games- some people will stick to a character class and master it perfectly, while others chop and change.

So what sort of person are you?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
kyupol at 8:26AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 3,730
joined: 1-12-2006
I prefer being a jack of all trades.

Because really. I have lots of things I'm interested in and my lifespan on this planet isn't enough if I wanna learn them all in specialized detail.

For instance, aside from drawing and writing, I'm interested in:
- economics
- business
- law
- politics
- science. Particularly physics, biology, and psychology.
- spirituality. Particularly its interconnection with science. The mainstream atheist and religious establishment is wrong in my opinion. Because they try to separate the scientific and the spiritual.
- fixing stuff. Like cars, computers, minor plumbing and wood and metal work.
- raising aquariums.

There's no way I can be a specialist at something

Unless of course I can go to the Philippines and convince a legit psychic surgeon to make me his (for some reason, they're all men) apprentice.

Then I'd be a specialist in psychic surgery. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:26PM
lba at 8:44AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 2,751
joined: 5-29-2007
I don't know if I'd call it my preference, but I tend to think that spending all your time on one thing doesn't make you a master, it just makes you exceptionally good at repetition. I decided that after watching “professional” gamers who just spend forever playing the same thing over and over, learning how to use loopholes in the game. It's not so much mastery of it as just learning to do the same exact thing every time. Mastery involves learning the things in and out and then being able to perform after just being tossed into a new environment, in my opinion. Needless to say, I think very few people in this world have ever managed to truly master something.

Personally, I tend to bounce around from project to project, technique to technique. And while I've noticed the people who get famous are the ones who most consistently do things and push them the most, I can't handle it that way. I can't even finish one project without having to switch to something else for a while, much less keep at one thing constantly for long periods. My attention span just won't handle it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
Skullbie at 8:44AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 4,805
joined: 12-9-2007
Keep doing something art wise, it's more rewarding for me to focus purely on digital art drawing/coloring techniques then to fart around with acrylics or traditional coloring. I still do pencils though most of the beefing happens in photoshop.

Same with fitness, i have a large set of workouts i like to alternate one between days and get better at, rather than doing a sport or whatever else.

Writing too, I'd rather do certain genre's and try to get better at them, though i've been branching out to the supernatural and sci-fi genre now, i still have certain things i include in the stories.

If it's non-creative interests I'm all over the place like kyupol.

A TV show i watched long ago once said “the working world doesn't give a rat's ass about people that bounce around, it's all about the specialists if you want to get ahead. ”

Not sure how true this is but when i think of all ‘the bests’ ithere's only one thing i can think of that they're good at.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:47PM
SlideStudios at 9:19AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 22
joined: 8-28-2008
I tend to bounce around a lot. First I was in a band, then wrote movie scripts, then wanted to make movies and now I've turned to comics. I don't know if it is wanting to be a jack of trades but more of trying to find my place. Could also be that I wasn't getting any better at something, so I moved on to something else. It takes serious dedication to truly master something and I am not sure if I have that gene.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
usedbooks at 11:20AM, June 22, 2009
posts: 3,352
joined: 2-24-2007
I'm in-between. I'll be the “semi-expert” of several things rather than a generalist or a specialist. I would be completely burnt out and dissatisfied to pursue a single interest/trade, but I have a passion to be, while not *the* best, at least my personal best at whatever I'm doing. Passion breeds specialization, and I'm too passionate about my interests to generalize too much.

In grad school, I was surrounded by specialists, students and professors immersed completely in the study of one aspect of a single species, tissue, or cause. I couldn't do that. One professor told me that as you become a specialist, you learn more and more about less and less until you know everything about nothing.

In my new job (designing and leading tours and programs for a park), I am called on to be an “expert” in several things. I already had the nature/conservation expertise and have been completely immersing myself in Civil War history (a subject I previously had no knowledge or interest in). I think that's pretty common for anyone in an education field. Teachers and informal educators are expected to be the authority and expert on their subject – even if they get assigned to teach subjects they had no previous knowledge of. You *have* to be a multi-specialist.


As for writing (and, to a lesser degree, art), I'm picky. Sometimes I experiment with other things, but I get frustrated or bored and fall back into my comfort zone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:38PM
bravo1102 at 7:53AM, June 23, 2009
posts: 5,965
joined: 1-21-2008
I've been surrounded by the experts on various topics and I prefer having a broad knowledge base. So I keep seeking to broaden it.

Whenever I get close to being “the expert” I feel a need to move on. Being the “Go-to-guy” in my experience isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'd rather listen to others and hope to learn something new.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Custard Trout at 7:58AM, June 23, 2009
posts: 4,566
joined: 2-22-2007
Expert of all trades.

I'll probably never get there, but I'll be damned if something as insignificant as futility will stop me trying.
Hey buddy, you should be a Russian Cosmonaut, and here's why.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:02PM
Ozoneocean at 9:42AM, June 23, 2009
posts: 28,588
joined: 1-2-2004
The trouble with specialising, at least for a while, is that you do something enough to know that it utterly BORES you.
And you miss out on all the cool stuff happening over here… and there… and the stuff that those guys are doing… You know?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:34PM
lba at 8:17PM, June 23, 2009
posts: 2,751
joined: 5-29-2007
The trouble with specialising, at least for a while, is that you do something enough to know that it utterly BORES you.
And you miss out on all the cool stuff happening over here… and there… and the stuff that those guys are doing… You know?

That sums up my behavior in two sentences. I am that hyperactive little kid running around the workshop annoyingly asking “whatcha doin'!? whatcha doin'!? whatcha doin'!?” I can't help it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:29PM
seventy2 at 8:55PM, June 23, 2009
posts: 3,955
joined: 11-15-2007
Jack of all trades

i am currently a specialist.
Running Anew an exercise blog.
I'm gonna love you till the money comes, half of it's gonna be mine someday.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:29PM
AwesomeUnicorn at 3:21AM, June 24, 2009
posts: 62
joined: 5-19-2009
I think that a lot of the time, it's unwise to specialize to that extent for a few reasons. One, you become useless when you do anything else not in your very limited field. Two, when you become a jack-of-all-trades you're able to meet more situations head on and have a better chance of succeeding at a lot of what gets thrown at you.

Also, when it comes to things like art, diversifying always seems to make me better. Trying out new styles, mediums, etc., always gives it a fresh view and I think makes me a better artist on the whole.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:14AM
Jonko at 4:03AM, June 24, 2009
posts: 377
joined: 2-9-2007
I actually would PREFER the first one, but I just can't. I always lose interest in something after I get really addicted to it. I think it's unfortunate, because practice is really the only thing that makes people perfect at something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM
Product Placement at 4:56PM, June 24, 2009
posts: 7,078
joined: 10-18-2007
Call me Jack then.

I'm a vacuum cleaner of random knowledge but no expert in one specific field. I am decent at sport, a good gamer and a movie enthusiastic who likes to read. I've switched jobs more often then I care to admit and sport a associates degree in… nothing really. I just took so many extra classes in stuff after graduating high school that I gained that degree. In theory you could call it a degree in information technology since I did dabble in core programing, media, and similar stuff.

Heck, I even took a class in film criticism.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:51PM
Disgruntledrm at 11:58PM, June 24, 2009
posts: 298
joined: 6-24-2006
It certainly isn't in MY nature to focus on one thing alone and become an expert at it. I can't even focus on one task at a time, I need to multitask constantly. Drawing comics? I might as well play a movie in the background, write a journal entry, and chat on the phone at the same time.

And if I do try to focus on one thing, like training myself to improve at any task…I start to resent it, and even dislike it. That will only result in abandoning the job altogether.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 11:50PM, June 25, 2009
posts: 1,338
joined: 10-4-2006
I'm the first one, but with a little bit of tension between my ‘specialization’ (s). Maybe I'm a mix of the two, actually, because I love writing. But I'm not easily bored (I spent about three hours drawing dogs the other day… then I was like, “this is weird, my sketchbook has too many pictures of dogs” so I had to forcibly stop drawing dogs.

Anyway, I'm good at creative things… I'm not good at anything else, though. (Luckily a lot of things fall under the nomenclature of “creative”..) Also, I'm very obsessive. I have like the opposite of ADD. In a hierarchy of needs, artistic endeavours surpass everything: food, sleep… I'm AS obsessed with writing as with art (this is why I love comics!) And it also means that I “practice” a whole lot… it's how I entertain myself. Studying anatomy is the pinnacle of fun. picking apart motivations is fun. Designing worlds (both written and visually) is fun, etc.

But I love music, too, and I feel like there's a very musical person hidden underneath all that. Unfortunately, I simply can't dedicate myself to so many things, and if I were to really work hard at learning music, I would have to neglect art.

Actually, I think I naturally switch off, like when you put all your weight on one foot till it aches and then switch to the other. it's a blessed little reprieve. When I get burnt out from art, I'll suddenly overwhelmingly need to write, and vice versa. (music isn't really in this picture, though, since I don't have much of an outlet for it… *wishes for piano*… alas.)

If someone asked me whether I'd rather be a successful artist or novelist, I'd never be able to answer. (How about… comic artist?) Writing can be so much more meaningful than art, but art is so freaking pretty!!!

OH. Also, I'd never wanna be a ‘jack of all trades’ sort. To just be able to do an adequate job at something? that'd kill me. I have too much pride and ambition. I want to be the very best (like no one ever was…) or at least work at the best of my abilities.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:23PM
megan_rose at 6:32PM, June 26, 2009
posts: 199
joined: 3-7-2007
I try to be really good at one thing, but decent at several other things.
When it comes to creative things, though, there's a lot of crossover. Being good at comics involves being good at writing and drawing. So I write a lot of fiction, too.

I flit around from thing to thing, but I always come back to comics. So I've gotten good at that, and trying other things actually helps me.

In my day job as a graphic designer for a TV station, journalism, studio, and control room knowledge isn't a requirement, but it actually helps a lot to have it. Knowing what everyone else is doing helps me to better help them, and things go more smoothly when I'm around.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:59PM

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