Keys to Becoming a Great Technical Artist: Pt. 5

Photo courtesy of richard-g.

Photo courtesy of richard-g.

This has been one of the longest series I’ve written, but the feedback has been good, so we’ll keep going. So far, we’ve been covering characteristics or attributes of what makes a great technical artist; Situational Awareness, People Skills, Troubleshooting Skills and Musical Ability or Passion. Today we add one more.

Characteristic Five: A Passion for Excellence

People define excellence in different ways, and many confuse it with perfection. Shooting for perfection is tough, since we’ll most often be disappointed. However, excellence can be achieved, regardless of the quality of your equipment. I consider excellence doing the absolute best you can with what you have available. Thus excellence will mean different things to different people in different situations. 

We get ourselves into trouble when we visit the giga church down the street, look at their production and come home defeated because we can’t possibly replicate that experience with our outdated and broken down gear. And that’s true, we can’t. However, we can still strive to continually improve our skills, our production and out teams. We can work within the limits of our equipment, utilizing it to the fullest extent. We can endeavor to create a seamless atmosphere of worship that is the proper embodiment of our congregation. 

A great technical artist will have a passion for doing things well. He or she will always be learning, growing, increasing their skill level so that each weekend is just a little better than the last. He or she will encourage their team to grow as well, stretching their skills and providing them the greatest opportunity to succeed. 

Some might think that excellence is expensive, but it’s not. Excellence is an attitude not a budget. I’ve worked to develop an environment of excellence in churches where my total annual production was less than my current supplies budget. In that smaller church, we took a somewhat defeated, half-hearted technical ministry and made it excellent, not by spending money but by changing the goals and raising the bar. Sure we had to fix some things, we bought some new equipment and updated some settings. But most of the transformation was attitudinal, not hardware. 

A great technical artist is not satisfied with the status quo, and can see things the way they should be. It may take relentless campaigning on your part to get there, but no one ever said being great was easy. The best technical artists I know are not content with the way things are. They are constantly looking for a better way to do something, a new skill or another way to challenge their team to get to the next level. They are motivated not from a fear of loosing their job, but internally, by a deep desire to continually get better at their craft.

And make no mistake; what we do is a craft. It’s something that needs to be honed, nurtured and grown. Not just anyone can do this; those that choose to have to put in the hard time to become great. 

Next time we’ll wrap up the series with the characteristic that you probably thought was going to be first. I know I said there was no order, but perhaps I was wrong…

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