“If you could choose to be a master (or mistress) of any skill in the world, which skill would you pick?”
Seems a bit of a reach for someone my age. By now you will have tried most of the things that interest you, and done well at them or failed (like judo). You must necessarily limit your list to those things that can be accomplished by diligence, and not those that depend on luck, physical prowess, family fortune, or breeding. Clearly I won’t be learning to drive a Formula 1 car, planning a cotillion, or making derivative trades with other people’s money.
Some skills are simply distasteful, or not to be chosen by those with weak stomachs. Some things, even if it’s an art, you still really don’t want to know. Is bamboozling wide-eyed county fair attendees considered a skill? Is selling snake oil (or cars, or phones)? Extracting cash from alumni? Managing a dungeon? Yes to all, but I have no interest in learning them.
No, I think I would pick something more prosaic, something that I admired but never felt I had the time for. And, even though this is a pie-in-the-sky kind of question, I would still pick something that seemed doable.
If I could? I would draw. Cartoons, manga, the daily strips, illustrations, line art, realistic renderings, court reporting, whatever. I like all of it. To my eye, a good drawing is often better than a photograph. The contrast and focus are entirely in the artist’s eye, in ways that a camera could never do.
I actually can draw, up to a point. Utilitarian sketches meant to convey information, dimensions, or corrections are part and parcel of my work. But I don’t have the vision, the editing, or the patience that a real artist has. Hats off to those early animators, those tabloid and cheesecake scribes of the mid-century, guys who drew because it was cheaper and more portable than photography, faster than letterpress, or easier to recognize than Picasso…
Check these guys out :