Overcoming convictions or The day I learned to draw

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.

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This was my first doodle of the day, representative of my drawing style since primary school…

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…and this is what I made one hour later 😀

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!

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