Week 5 Journal: Finding the importance of art in a tech-focused world

When I was in first grade, we celebrated career day. Everyone was dressed up in scrubs or suits, toting their parents’ briefcases. Then there was me, proudly wearing an oversized button down shirt covered in paint splatters and carrying paintbrushes in one hand and a palette in the other. I wanted to be like my grandpa, I told my class during my presentation—I wanted to be an artist.

For a few years, I kept that dream. It stayed with me until someone asked me how I could support a family on an artist’s salary, and then s/he proceeded to tell me that art was basically nothing more than a hobby. One couldn’t make a career out of it. Science and math, on the other hand, would take you places.

I didn’t want to believe that person, but I wanted to be realistic about my future too. All my life, I enjoyed creating things, but I never really was an artist.

Then this past week for DCC, we read an article called “Computer Programming as an Art.” It basically explained the importance balancing out science with art. The two concepts practically go hand in hand. According to author Donald E. Knuth, “The science without the art is likely to be ineffective; the art without the science is certain to be inaccurate.”

I made this poster and hung it in my dorm room to remind myself of the value of imagination and creativity. Logical thinking is certainly important, but one shouldn't underestimate imagination and creativity.

Essentially, as Knuth argues, both are important concepts to study. Science brings the logic and the facts, and art allows for creativity.

This article evoked my feelings about DCC. I always thought of myself as a creative type, but I was worried upon entering the program that I wouldn’t fit in because I didn’t know much about the digital side of things. As it turns out, DCC is the perfect combination of technology—computer programing and such—and creativity.

It’s “especially nice when the things we regard as beautiful are also regarded by other people as useful,” Knuth says, and I couldn’t agree more. My interest in art here isn’t frowned upon; instead, I feel like people appreciate everyone’s interests and learn to use our varying skills to the group’s advantage.

Maybe I won’t be an artist like the painter I once thought I’d become, but this reading helped me to realize that art is in fact useful. Creativity can be beneficial to things like science and is more than an asset when it comes to technology. Albert Einstein once said, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” There really is a relationship between science (or programming) and art, and a good balance will lead to success.

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