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Welcome to: the everybody do it all generation

Welcome to: the everybody do it all generation

posted on Saturday November 27, 2010 | in The Crystal Tearoom,Tuning in to Josephine | 13 Comments

I’ve been thinking about, what I like to call the everybody do it all generation.  That of course includes myself.  I grew up in an age where we are constantly told, “you can be anything, anything you put your mind to” and of course we believe it!  Beyond believing it we now have the tools to do it all, to be all we think we can be: camera, iphone, ipad, blog, google, wikipedia, twitter, pr machine, China… But? That creates much confusion, much noise.  I’m wondering if it’s not better to perfect one craft, to put one’s head down and focus on one thing and…MASTER it?  Or are we really in the age of EVERYBODY CAN DO IT ALL?  What do you think?

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Photo Shala Monroque:  Leelee Sobieski an actress who masters her craft and doesn’t do it all, at the Lanvin H&M fashion show, NY November 2010

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  1. thelifestylemaven (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    I have contemplated this on numerous occasions. More often than not I have been told that one needs to master one thing at a time. However,because i love so many things that fall under the bracket of LIFESTYLE, I chose to gain greater understanding of them all simultaneously, and share what i have learned with who wants to hear. Certainly it is and will continue to be hard work, but its a task that i am up for, because apart from me loving what i do and it being fun, it keeps my creative juices flowing and serotonin levels high :)
    Numerous people before me have mastered different things and for the most part excelled at all of them. Take Andy Warhol who was a painter, avant-garde filmmaker, record producer and author. Martha Stewart is a cook, craft-maker, business woman (even after jail she bounced right back), television host, author, and magazine publisher. Karl Lagerfeld is a fashion designer, artist and photographer. The list goes on and on.
    Maybe its because i am a dreamer, but i do believe we can do all that we would like to with hard work and dedication.

  2. Eli (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    Well actually I think it is better to have one that more craft. The transistion to film for me, is something different. I love watching films, reading and writing screenplays. And we can be whatever we want to be– with a bit of help. People with no direction often question many with great destinys ahead. Leelee is an awesome actor! I wonder why you think this, you can do whatever you want or need because your well connected… I CANT say the same to people who have nothing— they may need to fight longer and harder.

  3. Kristie (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    Sometimes being told I can do anything I put my mind to makes me spend more time in college as I still can’t decide what exactly it is that i want to do.

    I think everybody being able to do everything is a gift and a curse as many people try to do so much without perfecting anything and we end up with people being able to do many things without necessarily being great at any of them. On the other hand some of these tools that help one to be a “Jack of all trades” also give some talented persons the opportunity to perfect their craft. While I like the idea of being able to do many things, I think I may try to master one craft although that means I may have to change my major…again. I rather be able to do one thing extremely well than be an amateur at many things.

  4. safs (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    I think is an interesting query Shala and it is in many ways a direct result of our current culture and modernistic lifestyle. The idea of having a trade or being apprenticed at one thing only I think like, Caribbean patois and gaining information from printed encyclopedias, has died off, much in the same way that many traditional and cultural values have evolved over time. For example, 2 generations or so ago a woman’s place was at home – fast forward to today – a working woman is celebrated and much envied. As well, she is identified as having the ability to juggle house, home, career and relationship. Thus, in many ways she is forced to not just be good at one thing!

    I think your observation of having been told that we can achieve anything (or the sentiment of “follow our dreams”) is a way for our parents before us to release us from the burden they themselves had to endure, i.e., working a job only for the purposes of being responsible and financially independent (or as an obligation or one’s duty). It not only creates less pressure on on’e children when transitioning to adulthood but with the introduction of access to higher education and the creation of “internships” (feeling out a job before you actually commit to it) it makes “achieving anything” seem easier.

    As well, it makes us believe that the chances of finding a job that satisfies our adult responsibilities (and duties) while giving us some kind of utility in the form of happiness increases. And while it can be successful, often times it renders us confused. For if we can indeed achieve our dreams then our dreams can be anything though it may not necessarily allow us to become independent or “responsible” earlier.

  5. Robby (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    We call it the slash society


    I believe it’s important for one to find their true calling and really develop it, focus on it, and be great at it.

  6. Ashley P. (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    We are all born with a specific purpose. We all have the capability to do a million different things, we are all born with many talents, but are we really going to be fulfilled doing all those things? Hey if being a model/actress/designer/dj floats your boat, then so be it. But I believe that mastering your craft and finding that one thing that you are amazing at brings you the greatest fulfillment like nothing else will. Just think, when you master that one special thing, you have given the world a creation, a gift, that no one in the world can ever give. So I say find that one thing. Find your purpose.

    • safs (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

      Having a purpose and mastering a craft are not synonymous, though often confused. Your purpose in life could be for example, to create innovative works of art. To accomplish this you might be well versed at painting and digital media. Therefore a fusion of your mastery of two or more crafts can satisfy your purpose. Most of who consider themselves artists today are in fact multifaceted and no longer one-dimensional. Today’s artists is not simple a painter like Picasso or a poet like Frost. Today’s artist could be a musician / designer or muralist / stylist. (sidenote) William Blake for e.g. was an artist – committed to painting and poetry.

      Your purpose should be what defines you and your craft should be what defines your purpose.

      • Ashley P. (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

        I’ve never thought of talents and purpose the way you put it. Thanks for opening my mind up to a new way of viewing this subject. I would agree that having a purpose and mastering your craft are not synonymous. That is not what I said. Rather, I was saying that one should find their purpose and work to accomplish that. The “one thing” that I was referring to was your purpose. If it means doing several different things to fulfill that purpose then I say do whatever it takes.

        • safs (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

          Ashley P – point well taken!

          Though I’d like to explain my misunderstanding. You used the contradictory conjunction “but” in your statement, “Hey if being a model/actress/designer/dj floats your boat, then so be it. But I believe that mastering your craft and finding that one thing….” which assumes that “model/actress/designer/dj” are purposes and not talents. For in other words, the sentence could be read as, ” Hey if having all multiple purposes such as: model, actress, designer, dj, works for you then its quite fine though (but) having just one brings you greatest fulfillment.”

          However, I assumed “model/actress/designer/dj” to be talents (which seems more fitting as a having a purpose is purely philosophical). Thus if they in fact are talents, keeping in mind what I posited earlier about using multiple talents to fulfill one purpose and your new statement, “If it means doing several different things to fulfill that purpose then I say do whatever it takes” the aforementioned talents could fulfill a purpose such as “entertainer or artist” and your statement would be rendered ineffectual. As it would be taken to mean, “Hey if being an entertainer (or artist) floats your boat, then so be it. But I believe that mastering your craft and finding that one thing….” – This is a badly constructed sentence which is what lead me to believe that you used talents/crafts and purposes interchangeably.

          Despite this, I like your train of thought! Though many persons may not necessarily agree with you that they “are born with a specific purpose”, thinking you have a purpose makes life a lot more exciting and a lot less mundane.

    • safs (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

      As well – I should note – that not all talents are genetic gifts. Others evolve by accident – sometimes as a result of exploring many crafts!

  7. […] the morning of November 18th 2010 Hamish Bowles hosted a viewing of “Balenciaga, Spanish Master” a selection of Cristobal Balenciaga’s dresses with notes highlighting his inspiration, […]

  8. MR.MEYER (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    I do think talent is a predisposition its not like every body is talented that would be a utopian dream we are not all the same and don’t have to be .
    Some have more then one talent but that does not mean there all as much developed as the other and that wont say that having a talent means you also know you have it.
    If your not exposed to that world for which you have a talent ,like most things in live you discover things along the way that is if you get the chance or you surrounding are set up for you to do so.

    Mastering a craft is merely a technical aspect like being a able to build a house does not make one a master architect its technical know how combined with vision make a master piece but then again you have your virtuoso where they don’t express there work or vision with this great technical know how or craft (what ever you want to call it).
    They make it with pure emotion and vision but they know there craft but do not have the will or need to be master of it instead they explore , ask question and inspire others they open the minds off craft masters and the talented or less talented ones… there vision is further even they don’t know that they are its when time catches up with them then is crystallized and become clear to the rest .

    Which brings me to a other point that one doe not have to be the master of a craft or one talent to bring a master piece or be good or better then the rest don’t mistake this for lack off quality.
    Lack of quality is what is what is missing when we speak off the everybody do it all generation

    Its funny that like 7 years ago i had a class on being hybrid the future is asking for artist and designer etc to be more hybrid i just think there is a ugly side effect to every culture movement off progress or not .

    I think its time to teach that you have options you have the freedom to choose, but do what is close to your hart and do it with integrity and if you want o be a master at it you do what you need to do to be the master, but make sure it last ,make sure it has a positive impact for progress.
    There is no more need for more waste and mind pollusions i wish for more quality more time ,time is also important not more of different but less & better.
    We may do it all but never can one do it all at the same time thats the law of the universe and its there for a reason.

  9. malika (Reply) on Saturday 27, 2010

    A dream… Gods ! like this photo, a greeck deesse.

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