Creativity and Technicality: Somewhere in Between

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By Chris McGlade
Interactive Manager

It’s dark. My fingers are going numb and the glowing halo of a thirteen-inch laptop screen consumes my gaze. Tap. Click. Is it late? I check the clock in the upper corner of the screen. Yes. But the adrenaline, the urge and the thirst persist. Compile. Update. View Changes. These are the buttons that fuel my addiction to create and to solve the puzzle. With each change I make, I can instantly see the result. And when the result matches my expectations it creates a euphoric high and a burning desire to move on to the next step. Coding, development and web design comprise this endless puzzle that drives my day. A puzzle that, when solved, will transform mental pictures and concepts into fully interactive products that the world can use. It’s more than a desire to create. It’s a desire to fulfill an inner satisfaction and desire to feel useful. Meaningful. It provides the perfect outlet for my creative and technical extremes. Extremes that are more closely linked than they appear at first glance.

I often notice people categorizing coding and creativity separately. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. How do you expect to navigate a static website that, while visually beautiful, can’t be interactive? Oppositely, a site or product with perfect functionality without any interesting visuals won’t hold anyone’s attention. The best products always combine both functionality and beauty, and that is my goal: to merge creativity with coding for all of my projects.

A scene from the movie Ex Machina, ties into this idea. Two computer scientists look at a drip painting by Jackson Pollock and deduce that it is “not deliberate,” as would represent the realm of computer science, and “not random,” as would represent the realm of creativity “but somewhere in between.” Pollock, they said, would have “never made a single mark” had he stuck to the mentality of either extreme. He had to train his brain to “not act automatically” and find the middle ground. It was this middle ground, the ability to bridge both the creative spectrum and the technical side that created a masterpiece. And so as I stare at my computer screen at 2 a.m., working on a website on one screen and developing my new mobile game on the other, I remind myself to be like Pollock and disengage my automatic brain. Then maybe I too can forge my own masterpiece.