Friday, August 31, 2007

Painting feels very similar to writing code.

I´ve never been particularly good at painting or drawing, but during the last several years I have found great joy in it. Yesterday when I was working on an acrylic painting (I won´t discomfort you by showing an picture of it ;) it struck me: Painting this picture feels -very-much- like writing code: There is the great picture (literally), all the details you can see, all the details you can´t see, all the technique you chose to use, and chose not to use but is still considered and thus part of the mental process of the painting etc. But most of all it is exactly the same feeling of intense joy seeing an abstract idea turning into reality with some degree of persistence.

In contrast, playing an instrument (I play several) feels quite different from writing code. When playing the level of concentration is so high, and the result lacks the same kind of permanence that code or a painting does, so the feeling of accomplishment when getting a passage right on the instrument is different from the feeling one gets when getting a data structure right, the latter being quite similar to the good feeling one gets when painting a nipple that looks quite realistic (when squinting, in a dark room :-).

It´s not exactly the biggest of revelations, but it felt rather powerful when it struck me yesterday ;)

No comments: