I have a theory that everyone’s best assets are also their worst. To remind myself of the dangers of wanting to learn everything, here’s a partial list of the things I’ve wanted to learn—in some cases, to deepen partial knowledge—in the past year:
Illustration, bookmaking, history (local, federal, world), human-interest journalism, microfiction, zine crafting, hiking, novel-writing, photography, street hockey, screen-printing, Riso printing, linocut printmaking, cross-stitching, sewing, cooking, Ruby on Rails, Russian language, video art, performance art, dance (hip-hop, modern, ballet), spoken-word poetry, singing, public speaking, short-story-collection writing, starting a new language, saving an old one, gardening, grilling, woodworking (whittling, making furniture), Polish language, the art of cocktail-ery?, stamp collecting, Chinese brush painting, Norse mythology, [deep understanding of] local and federal government, international relations, the science of environmental policy, etymology, Esperanto, Communist wooden language, EVERYTHING ABOUT COLD PLACES EVER, etc, etc, etc…
Curiosity is the creative’s life blood. But to attempt to become sufficiently adept at all of the above would be a lifelong struggle with distraction, half-baked attempts, and I’m guessing, a pinch of loneliness. It’s few of us that can be good at everything, so we have to pick: what’s important now? What gives me life? What makes me a better designer, a happier person?