A Jack of All trades

By September 7, 2015 Freelancing 2 Comments

Jack of All Trades

I am what I am and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

I’m a web designer, a graphic designer, motion graphics designer, a 3d modeler, 3d lighting, 3d character designer, and I’m a 3d sculptor. I’m all of those things and sometimes I jump from one role to the other 2 or 3 times a day and I’m not a shamed of it and you shouldn’t be either.

For the last couple of years I was trapped in this idea of being a specialist and being amazing at one thing, but the more I work and the more time I spent learning only one speciality, I came to realise that I can’t; in this digital age there are just too many amazing software, tools, techniques to learn, that it would be a shame to not at least try them. Seth Godin captures it just beautifully:

“How can you squander even one more day not taking advantage of the greatest shifts of our generation? How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?” Seth Godin

I’m a multipurpose designer, I can design almost anything. Yes, and I agree that at somethings I’m better than others, but that doesn’t mean that I will stop trying just because I suck at it or just because there are better artists or specialists out there.

I became a multi-purposeful designer (it does sound like a piece of furniture, I gotta find a better name) by means of circumstance and then it shifted into love of learning new tools, techniques and workflows. Being able to jump from one role to another and to learn to adapt saved my ass on multiple accounts, when that job or software became obsolete.

Learning new techniques, software, tools or taking on an entirely new role helps you expand your client base, but at the same time it helps you understand the other roles in any new job and it becomes really helpful when you want to hire a team of specialists to help you create an amazing project. Stepping into their worlds helps you communicate easier, helps you understand what are the limits of that medium.

Shifting from one role to the other keeps me out of my comfort zone, keeps me humble, keeps me coming back for more, whenever I feel too comfortable I don’t sit back and enjoy it — totally the opposite: those are the times that I kinda freak out, I have to do something new, I have to stay relevant. It’s a mixture of fear and progress. I think fear of not being relevant is a strong factor that pushes us to become better artists and especially freelancers.

I’m by no means saying that being a specialist is not amazing. It is, it’s freaking awesome. I respect and love specialists and I think their work is beyond words and the amount of strength and patience that they posses is astonishing.

The only fact that bothers me is that few specialists respect the Jack-of-All-Trades, they think just because they design a logo or do commercial work they are sellouts and by any means they shouldn’t call themselves artists. Leonardo da Vinci was a Jack-of-All-Trades, on top of being a painter, sculpture master, tinkerer, he was a weapon maker: he used to make most of his money by creating weapons just so he can pursue art (you start appreciating the so called boring projects like letterheads, PowerPoint presentations and flyers for clients). I’m not comparing myself to him or say that all Jack-of-All-Trades are like Leonardo da Vinci… by no means, the only comparison is their passion for learning and trying amazing tools and techniques everyday. It’s what keeps them alive, this is why their designs are fresh and stand out, because when you are a Jack-of-All-Trades, it doesn’t only mean that you have lots of clients in different niches and markets, it’s the fact that whatever new role/tool/software that you learn makes you that much better as an artist across the board. Hell, it even expands your thinking as a human being.

So the next time you feel embarrassed of telling people that you are a Jack-of-All-Trades just think of Leo!

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By | 3d tutorials, 3ds max tutorials, guest author 3d tutorials | No Comments

In this looong video tutorial Guest author Johannes Tiner will show you how to re-create something pretty awesome :) using 3ds max and renderd using my all time favorite renderer.

This is a heavenly inspired 😛 video tutorial and all credits go to:
Nejc Polovsak from Twistedpoly ( twistedpoly.com/ )
Nina Stajner ( ninastajner.com/ )

This is the spline plugin that Johannes Tiner talks about miauumaxscript.blogspot.se/p/blog-page.html

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Christmas… my favourite time of the year… I know it sounds very cliche, but I just love it, and it’s not only the gifts and the good food it’s just that the atmosphere and the people are a bit more loving and calm. Well, living in beautiful Brasov helps a lot cause this place is magical in every season but nothing compares to snowy Brasov… at least for me.

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About Oasim Karmieh

My name is Oasim Karmieh and for the last 12 years I have been working as a freelancer,I have had the pleasure to work with clients all over the world. I have worked on some amazing projects from Animated films, animated short films, commercials and interactive iPad books. I’m what you call a Jack of all trades, but my true love and passion is teaching I always enjoyed sharing my knowledge and technique with all my friends, This is why I started Pixelophy.com, cause I really believe in sharing knowledge and experience, the only way we can grow as artists is to help other artists grow with us.


  • Glenn says:

    I think it comes down to personality / lifestyle. Some people are really regimented and disciplined and have mountains of patience (borrrrringgggg, haha). Personally I have the attention span of a 3 year old and lose interest in a project if it goes on more than a few months! I’ve worked on feature films, commercials, websites and large print campaigns. I’m not sure how anyone could be satisfied just doing hair and fur simulation or modeling or just character rigging or just particles and dynamics or just logo design but kudos to those people. It takes all kinds to make the world a better place. To veer off the subject slightly my personal experience over the last 30 years has shown the more creative the job and the more skill it requires the less it seems to pay and the lower the budget! I’ve turned down high profile work at a few of the bigger shops such as DD, ILM, MPC, Weta, etc simply because the pay scale was so low. This is a phenomenon that has started in recent years with large vfx houses going under or moving outside the country. I have friends that have worked on some serious complex scenes in blockbuster movies for about $20/hour before taxes. Its sad to see such talent get paid so little but studios know they can easily take advantage of artists because they’re not business people. They love what they do and most will do it for free. Call me a sellout but I prefer making $75/hour minimum. Luckily commercials still pay pretty well and armies of people aren’t needed to produce them so that’s where I’ve landed for now. Although animation and VFX is loads of fun and every project a little different, even it can be repetitive when you’ve been doing it since 1985. If you’re a freelance artist I think being a Generalist is the only way to go. Learn more than one 2D or 3D package. A generalist can stay booked year-round and literally spread the work evenly among all facets of 3D & 2D work. Smaller shops tend to let you do more than just knee animation. I’ve completed entire commercials solo and it’s pretty rewarding. I know several freelance specialists that cannot say the same thing. Regardless if you’re at the top of your game then you’ll be fine with specializing or generalizing. As far as being a “true artist” this has many many (many) gray areas. Even people that don’t touch a mouse or a paint brush or a lump of clay can have an extremely good eye and know what works artistically and what doesn’t. They are some of the best artists on earth! The only time you will ever truly be creative is if you work on your own personal projects. Being creative for someone else is ok and it pays the bills but there is nothing like pulling random things out of your own brain and bringing it to life. Be more embarrassed about not taking more time to do that!

    • Hey Glen,
      First of all thanks a lot for taking the time to read my ramblings, and also for writing one of the longest and awesomest comments on my blog.
      Well I’m not going to call you a sell out cause then I would be a sellout as-well, who doesn’t want to get paid more especially for doing what they love, cause it’s weird how people full of passion and amazing love for their craft end up being paid less, it’s pretty heartbreaking, I mean why the hell do we strive to become better at our craft just to be taken advantage of, I’d rather work for myself, and maybe even earn less money rather than have huge studios take advantage of me, it’s not as if they don’t have the money to pay for it. But at the same time I wonder if I would have had an offer to work on something amazing as the new Star Wars would I even care how much I was getting paid? cause that would be the ultimate gig, I mean even if you don’t earn a lot on the job, but if you do your homework right after you can make a good living selling your art or maybe even creating some tutorials, courses and workshops.

      I love the part when you talk about personal project, I can’t stress this enough to all the people that are starting, you have to work on your own things, cause that’s where the magic happens, it’s there where you have fun.

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins

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