Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Where shall I begin...

A colleague recently asked me how I start my personal coding projects. He'd love to do more projects out of work but doesn't know where to start. This post is a look back to how I first learnt how to overcome writer's block.

Where It Began

A little known fact about me is that I have a degree in fine art, specializing in oil painting.
In the first year of my degree all boundaries of what was valid were lifted. I was allowed to create anything. To do anything. What ever I wanted to do, to produce ART. But what was noble enough to be my subject? something profound? what? Before I gave any ideas a chance to formalise, I would find reasons why it wouldn't work. The product of this was that I spent the first 12 months studying the white cube, which was not only an analogy for the gallery space but also a blank canvas. 

One of my Paintings (post white cube era)

The Sketchbook 

In the end, what helped me to commit my ideas to canvas, and not to fear about them being exposed, was my sketchbook. A sketchbook is private, portable and disposable. An opportunity to draw anything, document and develop any idea quickly, without fear of critique, it enables a freedom of expression.

At the end of the week you can review the concepts, ideas and sketches in your sketchbook. If they still seem like they have merit, expand upon them, produce rivalling solutions and use heuristic techniques to find how far an idea can go.

In effect, I have just described how I was introduced to low-fidelity prototyping.

The Modern Sketchbook

We are very lucky these days in that we don't even need to carry a sketchbook and pens with us anymore. My smart phone allows me to take photos, sketch ideas and even draft this blog post.

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