When I was young, all I wanted to do was create. I created my own games and even my own worlds. Drawing and building Lego were two of my favourite pastimes. When I started to get older, my interest in creating was pushed to the back of my mind. I excelled in mathematics and sciences throughout high school. My parents were certain I was going to become and engineer or an architect because of my love for the arts and my aptitude for math. When I applied to Universities, I never considered these career paths.
I’ve always been good with mathematics and sciences and originally I thought I would enjoy computer science. After spending a few terms in this program, I changed my mind and pursued a degree in fine arts. This was a nice change that allowed me to use the other parts of my brain. However, I eventually realised that I wasn’t as passionate about this choice as I had originally thought. So I switched back into mathematics. Now I’m going for a math degree with cs and fine arts minors.
After all of these changes, I finally realise that I’m doing exactly what I did as a child. I have a creative mind and cs and fine arts allow me to work it, while I challenge my brain with mathematics as well. This combination of disciplines seems very versatile and perfect for me.
But I’ve already ditched engineering and architecture. So what can I do with this degree that I’m working so hard to finish?
I’ve always liked the idea of creating my own software. Whether it’s a silly phone app or a full program that is actually useful to many people. Here, I could be creative with the functions, as well as the visual design of the entire program. This is obviously a lot of work and I would need a team to do this. Also I would need a fantastic idea if I ever want to make it big in the tech industry.
I read an article about a man who taught himself how to design webpages over the years and he eventually created his own website to promote himself as a web designer. He now has a million dollar company where other businesses can hire him to create and maintain webpages for them. I’ve always liked the idea of continuing my education after school. I’ve been in school for so long, I understand how it works, I can probably teach myself a few things with the help of the internet.
What I really want to do is create, like when I was a kid. Something that looks cool to me. In order to do this properly, I will also need to know how to communicate.
What I’ve learned from days studying the fine arts and history, is that it really doesn’t matter if your work looks good. You need to know why you are making it in this way. If you can’t communicate your design process, no one will care what you do. There has to be meaning behind your work and you need to be able to communicate this through your work as well. This is also applicable when writing code. You must comment throughout your code in order for others to fully understand the beauty of your work.
You need to know your audience and how to appeal to their tastes. Just like writing, your work isn’t going to be as effective if it’s presented to the wrong group of people. Know what kind of people will be using your website or program, and design the user interface accordingly. What you are doing by creating is actually communicating to your audience. Why do you want to speak to them? What message are you sending? What do you want them to take away from interacting with your work?
In the end, I guess that you can be talented in your field of study, but what really matters how you communicate your ideas. From what I have learned in my five plus years of study at the university level is that communication is a way to merge disciplines and create something truly unique.