Do Multiple Things. Be Your Best.
It’s okay not to specialise But the thing to understand here is that it takes years for you to be good at anything. Yes, years. After a year you might feel that you’re really good, but more often than not that’s just newbie arrogance, which will of course, pass as you learn more.
Now for some good news It’s not a linear scale. If you want to be good as a digital artist, an app designer, and a film editor, it doesn’t take three times the number of learning years.
The time you spend not creating, is as important as the time you spend creating. Any skill, let’s take film editing as an example, is not developed by editing films all the time. You don’t sit and edit all day, everyday, and then become a good editor. When not editing, you watch other stuff. Commercials. Music videos. Films. Documentaries. Prank videos. Bollywood movies. Don’t watch the last one too much though. Alright, just kidding. As you watch, your mind takes notes. You don’t even have to be aware of it. If you are genuinely interested, you will soak in things as you watch more and more stuff. And then when you sit down to edit, there will be a super strong flow of ideas, which of course you’ll learn to filter and apply appropriately, with time. My point here is, every form of creative process needs time off, to reevaluate what you’ve done so far and to soak in other things. Use that to do another thing you’re good at.
Develop a taste Don’t jump into software right away. If you know how to use Photoshop, Premiere, Resolve and Ableton, it doesn’t make you a designer, editor, colourist and a musician. Learn the basics. Get a sense of aesthetics. Understand sound. Learn visual story telling. Learning the interface of the software that you want to use comes later.
Your are the competition Notice how the title says ‘be your best’ and not ‘be the best’? You don’t need to know if you’re better than the other guy. Do better work than what you did yesterday. You already have multiple things to do, and less time to do it than someone who specialises. Let’s keep thing clean, yeah?
Keep the cool Initially, you’ll feel you’re not progressing at anything fast. And that’s fine. You will.
Ideas will flow Here comes the best part. You will start connecting these different things you do. Ideas will start flowing from one thing to the other. You’ll find that your sense of aesthetics and taste you developed over the years can be applied to multiple fields. You’ll start drawing inspiration from different domains, and if you really want to specialise later on, you’ll be able to pick from a list of things you like.
All this seems to take up a lot of time. Where does that time come from? What exactly do you miss out on? Well, in my case, I don’t watch TV. So choose yours and all the best!