Code your paintings. Paint your websites.
Posted in Freelancing on Monday, 20th July 2009 at 3:43PM
The areas of web design and fine art may initially seem worlds apart but for me the line dividing the two is grey. I have always been interested in art and technology but over the last few years I have tried to devote equal time to both and to allow them to develop in unison. Whilst the end products are quite different, the different working practices and the creative processes involved with each discipline have broadened my skill set for the other and changed the way I work for the better.
The modular nature of web work with it’s logical processes and re-useable components weaving together into a final product (usually a website) has undoubtedly fed into into my painting process. I have found myself developing artistic techniques in the same way I might develop a plug in or snippet of code on the web to be re-assigned and redeveloped into the next generation of paintings.
Likewise, when it comes to painting, the creativity involved with making something from nothing and the confidence that the unexpected might be more productive than the obvious has given me the confidence to take risks with my web design and the resolve to stick with things that don’t work from the word go. Painting requires a certain level of spontaneity and experimentation to be anything other than generic and applying this approach to web design has definitely been an advantage.
So my call is for you artists out there to down your brushes for the day, fire up your computers and try getting a bit techie. Maybe learn the basics of a simple programming language like html and try making yourself a simple portfolio site. You may be surprised at how simple and satisfying it is and how you can take what you learn back to your painting practice.
And for you techies out there, rather than flipping open your laptops first thing tomorrow morning, why not get out the paints and make a mess. Treat it like research or training then you don’t even need to feel guilty about taking time off.