Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Introspective evening - on the pursuit of expression through art, design and production

I've been sitting on my couch the last couple of hours, fooling around with my phone (mostly looking at NeoGAF and Instagram). I foolishly decided to let the auto-updates run on my PC, didn't realize that it would take so long! Anyway, it gave me a few minutes to contemplate things (yes - it happens) rather than just plunge into some more work straight-away.

After so many years of doing this, in various capacities - and very fortunately, I believe, for a living for the majority of my adult life - at times I will of course take a step back and try to consider why I do what it is that I do. Why it is important to me. Of course there are many reasons, and my understanding of them will be important in different ways depending on when you ask/what is going on in my life at the time. At my base, I just really enjoy making things. Learning, developing, executing, inventing. I feel like I have been through so much (artist, designer, programmer) in my journey, and its taught me much about the world, about myself, and how we two relate. And for the longest time I would say I simply enjoyed being in the process: that the fact that I make things which other people enjoy, or whose utility serves them, it was always a nice side-effect. And I of course take immense pride in what I do, but the end product was never really the goal.

But now as I consider things, I have to alter my stance. The end product is very important. Of course I've always felt this way, I've said as much even if I didn't mean it in a conventional way. But sometimes I think of the way the world is, there are so many people out there and they have so much time and energy. And a lot of them are just lonely, sad, disconnected, hurt. And to think that I could spend my time and effort doing something, the process of which brings me much joy, that it can reach some of those people - I have to admit that that is important. Again I've certainly said as much in the past, but perhaps I don't really linger on it very much. I remember being a sad, lonely kid as well (who wasn't, at times?) I'd feel such a strong connection to comics, to video games, anything that was represented in the abstract and allowed you to experience the world through a modified set of rules, a set which although at times rudimentary were still able yield a certain amount of control. It started very simply, push buttons and see some things move on a screen. As the years passed it was more about discovering and honing techniques and skill, it wasn't long before this merged with art and eventually I found the thing within me that was hungry and eager, a thing I could nurture and understand.

I work in an industry and am fortunate enough to be surrounded by many who share this feeling. And I am also living in a world where people everywhere have a strong appreciation for those of us who pursue the fields of art and expression. Like I was as a kid, people are still hungry and compelled. It makes me feel like the world is still a good place if we can continue to share and cultivate this relationship. I'm very proud, and very excited.

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