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I wanted to be a better programmer so I started drawing

I'm a little upset at the ratio between how long it took me to build this blog vs. how long I've spent actually writing in it. The reason for this is because of my tendency to overthink everything I think it would be interesting to write about, and being dissatisfied with how little I have to offer on that subject. So to get the ball rolling I'm simply gonna take a short time to write about where I've been focusing my efforts lately! (in my free time at least).

Shift in focus

Something that I've come to observe is that truly useful software often comes as a result of someone having both the technical skills required and also specific domain knowledge that allows them to focus on a problem that they know exists because they've suffered it. I think this is why tools that assist in the craft that they can be created with are often amazing. The software example of this would be something like git. A more traditional example would be a woodworkers table. Both can be built by the user they are for, and so they are immensely effective at solving their respective problems. In general, someone with domain knowledge in the problem space will be better at solving that problem and more informed on its intricacies. So it's probably super worth it to learn about things other than programming and computer science ... who would have thought.

These thoughts, along with the mental exhaustion of programming all day at work, prompted me to find a new hobby to spend time on during the evenings and weekends. I eventually settled on drawing.

Recapturing a childhood passion

My first thoughts on this as a hobby were that it would be super weird for a 20 year old dude to come home everyday and draw for fun. These were largely set aside by super fond memories of creating art as a kid and being fascinated with everything that it involved. I remember really liking the analytical aspect of it. Even when drawing silly cartoons, you really need to understand the things you're trying to portray in order for their simplified representation to be effective.

This in combination with the total creative freedom it has given me have been absolutely refreshing. I'm having a great time sketching everywhere I go to get rough ideas in, and then putting in hours at home on things that I think look rad. It's been about 2 months now and I've seen a great deal of improvement! There's simply so much to learn, from anatomy to technique to composition to whatever.

Not much more to say on this I suppose. It's been real fun and I hope to continue this for a long time. It's really satisfying to be in the early days of a skill when progress is super fast and everything is new and exciting. To be quite honest I don't see any way that this will inspire me to create software for some sort of art related need, but that remains to be seen! Anyways, to end this out here's a few pages of my sketchbook from around midway through this whole endeavor (still a loooooong way to go from here).



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