Jack of all trades, master of none…

…though oftentimes better than master of one.

The ultimate one year challenge 2021

And so it begins. After two year-long projects, here comes the third. This one is actually a little bit intimidating because unlike the previous two, this one is not a photography challenge. The challenge this year will be to make something every week. It is not very specific because I want to try as many things as possible.

At the beginning of the last year, I heard this version of the famous quote: “Jack of all trades, master of none; though oftentimes better than master of one”. I found out it has a rather interesting history. Originally it was just “Jack of all trades” and it was mostly a compliment, a person that can do it all. After some time it got an extension “master of none” and with it a negative connotation, a person who has a superficial knowledge of a lot of stuff but is not an expert in any of them. And finally, it got the second part, becoming my favorite version of this quote. Some even say that this is the original version of the quote but at some point the second half was dropped.

At some points in my life, I didn’t really like that I was a Jack of all trades because I believed that part that I’m a master of none and that this is bad. But, while the world needs specialists very much in this day and age, there is still a place for Jacks. I was even lucky enough to find a job for which the job description is basically to be a Jack of all trades. And honestly, sometimes I think it’s just more fun to dabble in many things than to devote yourself to just a couple of them. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great feeling when you are a master of something. I feel somewhat like that in Photoshop because I’m working in it for years and I’m quite proficient in it. Also, I remember school days and programming classes and the feeling when you understand everything and everything just flows naturally for you. That is indeed a great feeling, but there is also something special about learning something new, struggling with it, solving the problems you are facing for the first time, and finally succeeding in what you’re doing. It won’t be perfect, or even close as good as if it was done by a master in that field, but it will be something you’ve done yourself and that is a great feeling. And learning is a skill in itself which you can always improve and in this day and age it’s easier than ever, you can learn almost anything on the internet. I encourage everyone when you see something that looks fun or cool, try to do it yourself, you might even surprise yourself.

Seven months ago or so, I came up with this challenge and started writing down ideas. There will be some easy things I’ve already done but there will also be some really challenging ones. And even though this is not a photography challenge, I’m still gonna keep tabs on it in a Facebook photo album because it is in a way a continuation of the previous challenges.


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