Jack of many trades

Photo: Matic Jelovčan, www.mj-d.si © Some Rights Reserved (CreativeCommons BY-NC-SA)

A lot of people say that one has got to be an expert in one specific field, to get totally specialized in that narrow field. While I value experts, and would often agree with that, I don’t think that’s me. It’s not that I don’t know what to do, because most of the things that I do, I enjoy doing. Furthermore I love learning new things anyway.

This however makes one tiny problem. Just yesterday someone asked me, for some interview, what’s my profession, what is it that I do. This has happened to me before and I always have a trouble with the answer. The reason for that being that I can do a lot of things and I can do a few things really well and consider them as my profession, but I have yet found a word for it…

You see, in high school times I was a youth worker, but also passionate about graphic design and I did some websites as well. In that time I learned that websites can bring me some money and so I figured I would learn the basics to see if that’s something that I could do for a living. I learned a ton, made some money and decided that I’m gonna make websites only when there’s nothing else to do, because while I can do it (web-knowledge is kind of important in this day-and-age) but if I can choose to, I wouldn’t. Besides, it doesn’t hurt to have more knowledge or qualifications, doesn’t it?

Since I went to art-school (High School for Visual arts and Photography in Ljubljana), and you probably know that I like art as well as graphic design, I figured I would learn some of that while in school. Most kids go to school because they have to, and while that was true for me as well, I did manage to learn a few things by talking to professors and doing things apart form school stuff and homework. I was already working on websites, which I started learning on the website for the youth group. A neat little project, I tell ya. With that also came designing fliers, leaflets, etc.

Then in, I forget, but I think it was in 2007, we went to the USA with a tiny group from the youth group and that was the first time I bought a camera for myself. I already wrote a short story of my photographic evolution on my personal blog, but to sum it up, I started liking photography very much so. I loved it that much that I invested a lot of time in it while doing graphic design , webdesign, homework, school and going to youth group, as well as photography after coming back from the US. With doing photography, I needed some projects to do and other Evangelical Christian groups and churches in Slovenia soon wanted photos taken for their promotions, and I needed practise. So I started going around taking photos, as well as asking for advise of professors on photography department of school (I attended general studies  also called “gimnazija” and couldn’t just go in their classes and study with them). The biggest problem with evangelical churches here in Slovenia is that they’re underfunded, because of small amounts of people who attend and even smaller who give their offerings and so it quickly became apparent that I’ll have to tune down my photography or found more revenue with it, but that’s legally tricky because Slovenian legislation regarding regulation of sales or any kind of business is very very tight. To this day I am still struggling with it.

Even though I was at high school still, I wanted to continue doing photos as well as other things I mentioned, but I also needed to fund all of that. I rarely spent money just to play games on computer, albeit I admit that at that time I did do that every now and then. So, I went to work at Mercator (a supermarket like WalMart in Slovenia) one summer which made me appreciate having my own money that I have earned (by the way, I worked for 2,44€/h which would today be impossible because the minimum wage for students now is 4,8€/h and the job does not exist anymore). Again a new experience, but no new skill-set.

After High school I went to Faculty of Architecture because as I was growing up I really liked Titanic and building things with legos and so my parents and I were thinking that Architecture would be a good choice; besides, I learned how to do 3D a previous year anyways by making a very very detailed 3D model of my parents house in Rhinoceros Nurbs. This meant that, as excited as I get for things I impulsively wanted to learn as much as possible considering architecture and design. The desire faded away when I had to pay for school stuff because of which I started working at the graphics design and corporate gifts shop company Know-How, which got me into graphic design again swiftly and I did a good job doing that anyway. I did it well enough to be hired again with that company and I learned a ton.

As I decided to ditch Architecture after the second year, the reasons of which I will talk about some other time (it was still a good decision and I learned a ton as well, heck, I learned enough to design my own house properly one day), I signed up for a private Art College, which I am just in the process of finishing. To be honest, I didn’t deal much with the subjects that I hated at Architecture so I spent a lot of time doing photography. And so I had agenda for art school set because they said they are flexible with art and that they have some programs for people like me as well (not enough if I might add), besides I  prefer to pay for college because of moral reasons as well. I won’t say I didn’t learn how to paint better here at this college, because a lot of instructions were done very well, however I can say that today I can paint and draw with confidence, although I will learn more as my muscle memory increases with practice than just going to school; that’s a life-long process. At least I learned more (again college was inspiration, and gave me something to do, but I learned on my own) on videography as well during the video school projects.

As I said, I have had to pay for college and so I needed to find more stable work. I had a short-lived work doing graphic design for a company, but they screwed me up, because they wanted a cheap designer who would do other things for most of the time. Luckily I got subcontracted, first as a project only, by the Bible society of Slovenia, but then they wanted me for other things as well. Because finances are tight and one needs to figure out how to pay for school as well as other things, I never asked for a full-time job, besides I don’t like the idea of a full time job even though I often do more that I would have, had I had it full time. Here I do graphic design, even better than before, I learned typography on the job and some specialized programs onyl Bible Societies use. I also utilised my web-knowledge although I will need to subcontract someone for a relatively low wage considering the profession to do it even better than I did, because the project has become so complex that I can’t manage it anymore. 

Anyhow… my chapter with that youth group stopped and I really missed working with youth. So I continued helping a friend of mine, who has Horsecamps, whom I helped twice before and that got me so much into horses, that I am seriously contemplating moving there, using my knowledge of Architecture to build a tiny house (I love tiny houses) and buy a horse. Hopefully I will be able to know that horse that well as to be able to travel the Globe with it, but that’s another story altogether.

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Moreover, did I say that I had also studied Theology on an intense Theological Seminary School and that I have also studied many other things in my own free time whether online or in the books, which I also deeply enjoy reading, among other things libertarian philosophy, classical philosophy, some Austrian Economics, a ton of history and Art history,

So, what am I? I’m a graphic designer, a photographer, a typographer, a thinker, but not really. I can do many other things such as youth work, horse-work, I can restore things, I started learning wood-working, I can do some web-work, I can fix a lot of things, heck, I even learned how to cook a bit. But you know what… I am all of those, but none of those. I love working on projects that have an end to it, that can be finished. I hate it when something doesn’t have an end. And I can do many things. I guess that makes me a Jack of many trades. A maker. And you know what… I like that. I’m slightly bellow average on things I don’t care much about, slightly above average on some things, mostly those I’m learning about and not yet doing that much (did I say I looove spending time online just soaking up knowledge). Heck I even learned how to sew and I assume if I spent some time with professional tailors, I would learn a ton from them as well…


A maker… I like the sound of that. Now, I’ll head off to bed, since I think I learned enough today 🙂 .