February 6, 2006

Complementary Interests

Filed under: beanquest — Brian @ 9:22 pm

I’ve been thinking about what’s interesting to me, and what I seem to be good at, and where those things overlap.

I have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts (which I earned, by the way, without having done any drawing that I remember. That I can draw as well as I do was pretty surprising to me). The degree is in lighting design for the theatre (you have to spell it that way or they’ll confiscate the diploma). Looking back on it, I think it wasn’t so much “The Theatre” that I liked as it was just being involved in the creation of something beautiful, and working with dedicated and talented people.

As far as return on investment goes … well, my first job out of college was $6 an hour as an electrician. Add on another $5 an hour as a bookstore clerk at night, and you can almost pretend that you’re not falling behind. On the upside, a summer job in the theatre is where I met my wife – so I’m not complaining.

My current job is computer-related. I started with the company as a temp, taking phone calls responding to an ad campaign. I got myself hired on in tech support pretty soon, and have worked my way up from there.

I’m a passable Perl programmer, I know my way around a database, and I’ve been publishing stuff on the Internet (to keep out-of-town family updated on family things) since 2001 or 2002. I built a ramshackle system of Perl and AppleScript and text files that served as a kind of blog just before I discovered Movable Type.

In college in the early 90’s (before the Web), I spent a lot of time on Unix and text-based Internet things, and had a lot of fun at it. I was thrilled when Mac OS X came out and I could use a real command-line and a Mac at the same time.

I’ve dabbled in Web design – even have a couple of paying jobs – but haven’t seriously considered it as anything more than an occasional and light hobby. I haven’t put in the effort it would take to get really good at it, and have allowed things like browser bugs and incompatibilities to dissuade me. But maybe the overlap of computer geekery and artistry is something I should put more focus into.

Yeah, I know. “If web design was It, this blog wouldn’t be done on the free, non-customizable WordPress site.” Maybe. But this blog isn’t about doing the thing (whatever it is) it’s about figuring out what the thing is.

(I did mention that I’m keeping this blog largely for myself to work things out, right?)


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