In my last post, I discussed how I wasn’t happy that I did a lot of things well but nothing amazingly. Via Facebook, here were some of the responses that made me really rethink my “complaint.”
My cousin Jeff:
Personally, I think the true mark of talent is being able to do a lot of things well. I would much rather be second best at everything than an expert at one thing, and absolutely clueless about anything else. The second mark of that talent is seeing the flaws in your work. Only a fool looks at his own work an says “its perfect.” The true craftsman says “there’s a gap, I need to smooth that spot, that piece don’t match the other one, and there is another mistake” everyone else looks at the work with awe.
I loved the line “I would much rather be second best at everything than an expert at one thing.” It kind of made me think of the concept of the Renaissance Man, people who tinkered in many different areas, including art and science. Then I read my friend Jodie’s lines
I feel the same way! I’m not GREAT at anything, but I love trying my hand at everything. Once I get pretty good at something…. I’m ready to try something else! Creative ADD.
These are two artists whose work I admire. My cousin’s metal work is simple amazing (and of course I want to try it!). To be in the kitchen, cutting vegetables with a knife you made yourself must be a really cool experience. Then there’s Jodie who makes gorgeous glass jewelry and who won a big ole’ gingerbread house competition at Grove Park Inn. Even my mom, who helped foster this love of creation, weighed in:
Son, did you ever notice that I am also “not great” at anything? Once I learned how to do something “well” I was on to learning something else. For me, it was never about perfecting an art, but the learning… that was the fun part.
Maybe I was just in a foul mood that day… but also their words were really powerful. They’re right. I don’t create to operate as a business. If that was the case, I’d make one thing and lots of it (or variations thereof). I create because I enjoy creating. As Mom says, “the learning is the fun part.”
Maybe it’s the crappy weather, but I just haven’t felt like creating lately. Especially not for creation’s sake. I guess not working on any projects combined with seeing some amazing stuff being created around me made me feel like there wasn’t a point to what I have done over the years. But in truth, that’s not who I am. I create for the fun of it. I just need to remember that… especially when I’m not working on something.