WHEN DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF "GOOD" AT SOMETHING?

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7796
For the longest time, I've always associated being "good" at a thing with being "proficient" at said thing. If I saw two people, for example, drawing the exact same portrait in the exact same way and with the exact same quality, but Person A completes the portrait in half the time as Person B, I would argue that Person A is good at art, at least compared to Person B.

Recently, however, I've talked with a few others who gave me different views on what it means to be "good," and now I'm not so sure what the word really means anymore to creators. I'm gonna list a general summation of the different points I've gotten. Keep in mind that, even though I'm using art a lot as examples, I'm talking about any form of creative endeavor, be it writing, programming, developing, etc.


You never give up: It may seem like a tired, overused line, but that's only because it never loses relevance as time goes on. Did you know that the character designer for the game Rumble Roses was actually paralyzed from the neck down? This article, which unfortunately is about his passing, also contains samples of his work. Keep in mind that he drew those with a stylus in his mouth.

Imagine for a second how long that must've taken. Based on my definition earlier, I doubt Mr. Kotobuki was particularly proficient, but his portraits ended up being better than anything I've ever done and probably will ever do. There's no possible way I could ever say he wasn't a good artist. However, there has to be a line between being actually good at creating something and just beating your head against a wall until the wall topples over. Are you "good" at creating a thing? Or just too stubborn to quit? Are they the same thing?


The ability to translate what's in your head to a tangible product: If you have a clear image of what you want portrait to look like, but are frustrated because you hand keeps shaking and can't draw straight lines or you can't tell the difference between different shades of red and so your portrait always looks just a little off, are you "bad" at art?


You don't get "good." Just a little bit better: I'm not sure I agree with this line of thinking, because it places a bit too heavy burden on yourself and can quickly cause you to slip into needless self-depreciation. However, the reasoning behind it seems solid enough: Telling yourself that you're "good" at something quickly leads to complacency, and that can lead to never getting better at your craft.


It's not for you to decide: As creators, it's very difficult to see past the flaws in our own work. It's easy to see the flaws in your own work far more easily than a consumer, and so it shouldn't be uncommon for you to have a lower opinion of it than the consumer would and have difficulty taking in the praise the work may get. If you make something that people love, are you good at what you're doing?


I'm curious as to your opinion on what it means to be "good". Do you agree with any of these? Disagree? Have your own view? Let's talk about it.
I consider myself good at something when I start to enjoy doing it and enjoy pursuing knowledge/technique for it, or when doing it relaxes me.

I guess it's different than just enjoymemt. Fulfillmemt? Idk. I'm on vacation, don't have time to explain.
unity
You're magical to me.
12399
I probably fall under "You don't get "good." Just a little bit better." Not out of choosing, mind you, just because I find it hard to describe myself at being "good" at anything. I fully admit that this is a self-esteem problem and I'm working on having a more positive outlook, however.

Beyond that, I find this question hard to answer. It's easy to feel like you are not good at something, even when you are, and on the opposite end of the spectrum are people who are mediocre or worse at something, but think they are good. It doesn't help that one can always improve, so "good" seems very nebulous.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18257
I always just assume I'm great at everything.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
I assume, I'm good at something, when nobody around me seems to be better at it. That seems to be like never recently (try to have a hyper talented musician as a flatmate).
Never giving up is probably the best advice, but I wouldn't use it as a qualifier for being good. Some people SHOULD give up. :P

I always just assume Solitayre is great at everything.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7380
When you realize that there's more you know than you don't know.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6133
I don't even understand the question.

Being "good" at something is such an ambiguous, context-dependent concept. Why do you even need a definition for the word in the first place?
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7796
author=unity
Beyond that, I find this question hard to answer. It's easy to feel like you are not good at something, even when you are, and on the opposite end of the spectrum are people who are mediocre or worse at something, but think they are good. It doesn't help that one can always improve, so "good" seems very nebulous.


If I asked you to come up with a list of your strengths as a developer, what would you put on there and, for the purpose of this topic, why?

As for the nebulous, context-dependent arguments, I certainly agree that you can always improve and that there's a huge grey area when it comes to how you you feel you are at something, but I think there are at least some hard standards you can apply to being good/skilled. As an example, if Jimmy were to put himself up for hire with this drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog that I made in 15 seconds using a mouse as an example of his work, I highly, HIGHLY doubt anyone out there would take him seriously.

So what I'm asking is what would be the point where little Jimmy WOULD be taken seriously? No one has to sing his praises or anything, but where would he have to get to for you to call him a skilled artist? Is it something as simple as looking at the above picture and saying, "As long as it's NOT that?" Or is there some other measurement you use?

I guess a more narrow subject would be more appropriate in terms of this topic? Maybe instead of "good" what about "skilled?" I was hesitant to use that word since it implied a higher level of ability than what I was aiming for, but if it narrows down the discussion to something more tangible, then we can shift to that instead.


author=Cap_H
I assume, I'm good at something, when nobody around me seems to be better at it. That seems to be like never recently (try to have a hyper talented musician as a flatmate).


That feels more like being the best as something, rather than just being good.

author=NeverSilent
I don't even understand the question.

Being "good" at something is such an ambiguous, context-dependent concept.


Do you consider yourself good at programming? Do you consider yourself good at 3D modeling? What about puzzle design? If your answer is no, then where would you have to be in order for you to consider yourself good at these fields? Does it stop at simply being not bad? Or is there some other form of measurement you use?

Why do you even need a definition for the word in the first place?


Haha, now I'M the one confused. Are you asking me specifically? Or just in general?

If the former, then, like I said in the OP, I recently heard a few different viewpoints on what it means to be good, so I'm curious as to what people here define as good. If the latter, then, well, it's important to know the definition of a word. Because it's a word used to describe something. If you're using the word "good" without caring what it means, then it completely devalues whatever praise it otherwise would have carried.

author=Merlandese
Never giving up is probably the best advice, but I wouldn't use it as a qualifier for being good. Some people SHOULD give up. :P


True. I would say that never giving up is the way to get good rather than being good.

*idk why it doubled posted again...
When your knowledge pools are over 9000!!!



(When you have done something so many times that you just kind of make the motions and things appear at rapid speeds.)
Marrend
Guardian Ghost of the Description Thread
20541
It's possible we don't entirely decide what's "good" for ourselves. We observe what is considered "good" from various external sources. Such as parents, teachers, or other such role models. Their opinions probably influence our own judgement, since we look up to them.


Though, saying that, the ability to translate what's in one's head into a tangible product seems like a really great indicator that a person is "good"?


*Edit: Hell, I don't know.
you choose for your self what good means.
just use your eyes, and you will know...

i feel the idea of what 'good' means, will always be imaginary since you can't possibly not see the flaws in your own work.

I don't have a 'benchmark' for what is termed as 'good'. All I can do is keep working on my craft. An artist ( aka anyone who creates something ) is almost never satisfied with the work they produce. There is always someone out there who's going to be better than you.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
You should never consider yourself good at anything, unless you're in a job interview. Then you should recognize that you are a true master of your craft.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6615
@Red_Nova,
actually, i think the comparison to my surroundings is important to me. For example I used to think I'm good at drawing. Among my friends I was the first who started actively pursue it, attending courses and so. Later on, my friends did the same and they began to be better than me fast enough for me to loose interest. I'm nowhere as good as I used to be.
Marrend has a point too. External opinions are more than important to me.
NeverSilent
Got any Dexreth amulets?
6133
author=Red_Nova
If I asked you to come up with a list of your strengths as a developer, what would you put on there and, for the purpose of this topic, why?

Ah, now I get it. This is not about what you think about your skills yourself, but about how you would describe or present them to others, right? That makes a lot more sense.

I've been a student of Literary Science for over 3 years, and I couldn't even give you a remotely absolute definition of what "literature" actually is. The same is true for concepts such as "history" or "culture" etc. We all have some sort of collective understanding of how to use these words, but there are so many ways to interpret their meaning that it becomes impossible to properly define them in an unambiguous manner. The real answer is probably somewhere between all of those possible meanings at once, but can't really be grasped. I guess learning to live with working with concepts that can't really be defined has made me a little nihilistic regarding the usefulness of definitions of vague terms in general, heh.


author=Red_Nova
Do you consider yourself good at programming? Do you consider yourself good at 3D modeling? What about puzzle design? If your answer is no, then where would you have to be in order for you to consider yourself good at these fields? Does it stop at simply being not bad? Or is there some other form of measurement you use?

Personally, I think the approach to this that makes most sense would be to look at it from two perspectives. The first answer I'd give is therefore that you are good at something creative when you have the skill to closely approximate what you envision. I am bad at drawing, so if I were to set out to make a painting of Sonic the Hedgehog, the end result would look nothing like what I had imagined it should look like. A "master" of their craft could decide on a plan in their head, and then create a piece that comes very close to that plan. The smaller the discrepancy between vision and result, the more control you have over your art, and thus the better you are at it. In addition, being good at your art would also mean knowing the limits of your medium.

The other answer I can think of is that you are good at something if what you create works well in comparison to the context. For instance, Jimmy's drawing would probably not be considered "good" when shown around at a Sega art studio. But if Jimmy is a 2 year old child, his drawing can definitely be described as "good", considering his age and lack of schooling. Similarly, I think I'm pretty good at puzzle design, but far from good enough to justify wanting to work for a puzzle game company. And someone who has just invented a completely new art form will automatically be good at it, simply because there is nobody else yet who knows this new craft as well.
In short, I think it's reasonable to assume that based on this more context-dependent definition, you are good at something if what you can create is considered impressive in the context of its creation and its reception. Obviously, the question of what "impressive" means is also highly subjective.

I hope any of this made some sense.
author=LockeZ
You should never consider yourself good at anything, unless you're in a job interview. Then you should recognize that you are a true master of your craft.


/thread
I never consider myself the best, because then I would stop trying to be better.
I think that ultimately, I'm going by feeling. Typically, you're comparing yourself to others. However, if I included people who pick up the RPG maker, but quickly gets tired and quits, it would make it too easy to be "good" at something. So, it has to be at least decently experienced people. How experienced I can't tell though. Hence why it ends up boiling down to feel.

I don't think it's important to draw a clear line, but it's necessary to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. Play by your strengths and all that. So, you do need to get some sort of impression of what you're good at and what you're not.
Pages: first 12 next last