Why I Don’t Paint Trucks, Write Computer Code or Eat Fig Newtons

September 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

Back when I was fresh out of college and not yet sure what I was going to do with my life, my eldest brother had a serious jeep-racing hobby. He had a bright yellow jeep, and asked me to paint Disney’s Pluto on the back end, along with the words “Old Yeller”. I thought that was a fun idea and it made for a great conversation piece at the races. Everybody loved that old jeep with Pluto-on-wheels emblazoned on the back.

But that exercise taught me that I wasn’t a truck painter. I didn’t have the right tools, it probably took me a lot longer than necessary, and I didn’t want to invest in tools for something that most likely would not be part of my artistic future. (Sometimes you just know these things.)

So, some years later when I was well into my graphic design business and designed a logo for a Rose company, I made sure they had a professional car/truck painter paint it on their truck. (and it looked fantastic, I must say ~ wish I had a picture of that.)

As for computer code … sure they get kids out of school designing web code AND cool posters, but it’s a very different set of tools used, and I’m not convinced it makes for excellence in either arena.

Not saying one can’t be both right and left brained, but I guarantee that most programmers will admit their design skills leave much to be desired. And I know for a fact that a good designer’s time is much better spent on what they do best. That’s why I don’t do code.

In a moment of madness some time ago, I did contemplate the idea of learning how to code, but, thankfully, came to my senses. Why not leave that to the pro’s, right there along with truck painting? Same goes for adding electrical engineering and brain surgery to my repertoire.

Which leads us to Fig Newtons. Truth of the matter is, I like them about as much as a screen of java script. That’s why I don’t eat them and am quite content to leave them for the figgy-snack professionals.

And the moral of the story is this: It’s intrinsically healthy to expand our skill sets and mental vistas, but at the end of the day, we’re better serving up things we do well, feel passionate about and know we can deliver. Oh, and that life is short, so why waste any of it chewing on Fig Newtons.


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