How being an Artist made me a better developer.
4 min read
Whether or not we are aware of it, artist or not, art affects our lives in many ways directly or indirectly. But how does art benefit developers? There are many different answers to that question and there is no one answer, it all depends on personal experiences and I'm here to share mine.
What is Art?
Art and its definition will always be controversial. Everyone has their definition of what art is and what it isn’t
But no matter what the definition may be, It has always been a part of our lives, and it is only recently that it has come to be recognized as a truly complex field with vast opportunities in the way humans interact with technology, and has been directly responsible for the progression of many elements of society as we know it today.
The importance of art for me
Being an artist is not just a "nice to have" skill.
As an artist, I have been making works of art since my early childhood. The passion for creating something new and different is the driving force that keeps me going in life, and the ability to express oneself through art is not only rewarding but therapeutic as well and it is the most natural and basic way possible.
Creating or consuming art helps me improve my state of mind, and create new ideas and innovative solutions. I use it for entertainment, cultural appreciation, aesthetics, personal improvement, and even social change. Art helps me thrive in this world.
Why art makes me a better developer.
I have no doubt that being an artist has made me a better developer. My coding work is not limited to only the technical. As a developer, I have become more effective in my craft and have found myself coding with intent and purpose, seeking to express ideas or convey a narrative or guide the user through a solution elegantly and efficiently. And That is because I have a broader understanding of what makes an effective design as a whole, from subtle elements of color to layout and spatial organization, as well as using visual elements or coding animations to guide the user experience.
How to incorporate art into your work?
Those of us in the software/web development world often view our work as logical and rational. That’s because many of us have been programmed to think linearly. We don’t always think about the artistry behind our work, but it exists there nonetheless.
Our rational minds as developers keep us somewhat stuck in the same loops of thinking, and we easily find ourselves being comfortable thinking inside the same box and reusing the same logic to solve different solutions and that limits sourcing ideas to only what is already known instead of reaching outside of that box for ideas that could lead us to innovate and discover new paths and answers.
The most important skill I took away from my years as an artist is the ability to see things differently. When you’re a creative creator, it’s necessary to think about things abstractly. You have to be able to mentally deconstruct objects into their parts and then combine them in new ways. Those skills can be applied directly to programming because as developers we are constantly taking bits of code apart and putting them back together again in different ways.
Art can be anything you define it as, it could be writing, music, painting, or anything that you can express yourself through, make it your hobby and see the slow changes in productivity take effect.
Using an artistic mind may help you find your voice, some people aren't able to let their intelligence shine due to the thinking process they use to extract answers that may not resonate with them.
Incorporate art in meetings and brainstorming sessions. Ask your team to draw the answers to questions. What does this problem look like to you? What does the solution feel like?
Art is a powerful yet underestimated tool that bypasses the traps of the rational mind and allows us to access our creative genius. So, the next time you or your colleagues feel creatively stuck and need more vibrance in your workflow, draw it out.