We all have our convictions about the world, about other people, but also about ourselves. I, for example, am convinced that I am able to learn and get good at the most challenging and even absurde things – to an extent that often borders complete over-estimation of my own capacities, and yet usually works, as long as I am truly dedicated. In 2002, due to some funny circumstances, I received a scholarship for one month of summer university “Hungarian Language – Advanced Level” in Budapest before I knew a single word of Hungarian. Two months of hardcore, self-study training later, I was able to follow and complete the class. Just to give an example.
Then, I have some even stronger convictions about what I will never be able to learn. Very high up on the list: drawing, or manual visual expression in general. It’s not so much that I completely lack imagination or a visul sense. If I can use appropriate electronic tools, or simply “describe” what something should look like (as you do in CSS), I am able to produce – well, definitely no works of art, but some down-to-earth products that are functionally acceptable to the eye. But with paper and pencils, brushes and paint, I am absolutely useless. There is no way I can give shape to anything I have in mind. It’s a total lack of techniques, and it never occured to me that it could be something one can learn to a certain extent. And frankly, it didn’t bother me at all. I simply never volunteer to design the flipcharts during group assignments, and when I give presentations, I make sure that I have some fancy slides with elaborate wording and some catchy images (preferably memes).
And then, today, as part of the preparation course for Mozambique, we had a workshop about “Creativity and visualization”. On a Monday morning. I was, let’s say, sceptical about the usefulness, and I was not the only one. And then, this happened.
It is an almost childish pride. It has nothing to do with art and it’s far from being perfect, but it doesn’t have to. When I build a tool to administrate my eBooks, I am not striving to invent a revolutionary, award-winning data structure. I mainly make use of (yes, copy & paste) existing functions, queries and statements and adjust them as well as I can, with the only goal to make it do what I want it to do. And, believe it or not, this applies to drawings. 100%. I doodled some elements that I might be able to adjust and use in the future. And…I really like to look at the stuff I drew, came home like a first grader, desperately looking for my flatmate to tell her “Look what I made today”, and I produced it without thinking or conceptualizing within a few minutes of random doodling. And…I had so much fun doing it that I went to a stationary shop for the first time in a decade and got wax crayons.
A big thank you to the fantastic coach Martin Hauszer and HORIZONT3000 for an awesome workshop!