The thing about getting known is that people say funny things to you. Most of it is bullshit. Some of it is true, and some of it is downward inconsiderate. Some of it does
make me think, though.
One of those things said to me, a while ago, was that I wasn't so much of an artist.
That, despite the fact that I was decently known on the internet nowadays, I didn't make actual great art.
(The actual comment phrased it somewhere along the lines of "famous as hell, but still draws like a college art student")
And you know what I thought? This guy actually did have a solid point. The way he worded it down was just... not so clever.
Throughout my life I've seen people with great skills in everything. I've learned soon enough that people typically see themselves as either a left-brain or a right-brain thinker, meaning so much that their either go with logic or intuition, and are often either good with numbers or social skills/art (that come with that). While many of these tests where proven myths long ago and it's already well known that we use both
sides of our brain, we do have a dominant side and it does firmly leave its fingerprint on who we are, how we think, and often what we will end up doing.
I'm the person that's in the middle. I don't have a particular dominant side. I'm between logic and intuition. A confused mind, as one of the teachers that took my career test in high school used to typify me. And that's basically what I am. I enjoy art and social science as much as I enjoy building computers and programming, and the thought of giving up either of them would make me incredibly sad. This rather unique feature of me, however, does make it hard to focus on one
thing as I enjoy so many of them, and I enjoy them equally. It makes it hard to blend in society as well... but that's a whole different story.
When I was younger, I used to envy people that were 'pure'
in the sense that they had only one
goal in life and one single thing that interested them. Not being able to focus on one thing alone, I generally saw myself as a huge slacker, and that wasn't too good for my confidence in general. A few years of experience learned me that I am in fact dedicated. I spend most of my time learning new stuff, as I'm curious by nature. But I share my time between many very different fields of interest and spend time on whatever has, on that moment, the most interesting thing to learn. And like the proverb "jack of all trades, master of none"
already implies, it's very hard to maintain great knowledge on multiple fields. You can't basically outdo the experts that do that same thing all day... and with a good reason. Life wouldn't be exactly fair if people that
What I do think needs to change, is society's attitude towards people that generalize in multiple crafts, instead of choosing a single one.
In the art world as well, I found people only moderately understanding towards how is to have multiple interests besides from art. All classical art education says you have to study for 40+ hours a week, draw a lot of anatomy and such -- oh, you know the drill. The point is; not everybody can do that. Being in school I've told my teachers many times that such a thing was, for me at least, not the way to learn. Because people with a mind like me basically need variation to pick things up. Doing the same thing over and over again for a period of months would lull my brain to sleep. But I learned pretty soon that saying such a thing in this society (or school -- in that regard) was just not done. I was seen as weak, unprepared for society, and just another lazy slacker that only wanted to party (while I ironically never attended parties in university, actually).
For those that want to know how the story ended. Eventually I did things in my own way. My unique combination of knowing both design and computer science landed me a good job... and basically didn't do as bad as the horror scenario the teachers predicted. Everything ended up pretty well.
The point is; it takes all kinds of people to make the world run.
We need people that specialize in things and we need people that can do a lot of things to connect those. I see may people nowadays make the mistake to link fame directly to artistic skills, and be disappointed if this doesn't match up. While, as a matter of fact, there are so many more skills needed to get known than just being good with a paintbrush. What about social skills? How about thinking up good concepts for your work? Or storytelling? How about marketing? How about networking? These are a plethora of skills that increase your chances of 'fame' that don't directly involve holding a paintbrush, but do involve actual skill and a lot of practice. They are, unlike visual art, not directly visible. That doesn't mean, however, they aren't there. And that doesn't mean they don't deserve appreciation.
It's important to realize this, and appreciate people for what they are. Because that not-so-good artist you look down on today, may have great networking skills. Skills that might one day bring him to the top of a company, where he might actually offer you a job if he liked you...