Creative Programming

I never thought I was a creative person. It was more natural for me to think logically and rationally. Until recently I (wrongly) divided those two areas: creativity and logic.

I began my journey into computers and programming almost 15 years ago. Recently, I had the opportunity to work with an amazing and creative human being, Ana Teixeira. Once, while developing an idea, she sad to me:

“You are a really creative guy!”

I was shocked, I never thought someone would think I’m creative. At least not someone with sanity and who was indeed creative.

Some days ago, Ron Reis suggested in the SILO discussion group an amazing post here written by Tara Sophia Mohr.

It talks about the three personalities, or inner voices, a “creator” has and how troublesome can it be to bring one to a particular situation. Quoting Tara’s post:

The Artist: The artist’s domain is drafting, receiving ideas and inspiration, fleshing them out, etc.
The Editor: The editor’s domain is revising, trimming, structuring, etc.
The Agent: The agent’s domain is developing marketing messages for the work, communicating about the work to external stakeholders, and finding distribution, etc.

For more details, check the full article, its amazing.

I saw myself having those three, even being a programmer. As an artist I always think about the correct, beautifull and elegant implementation of a code/problem. As an editor I have to rethink about the possible problems and correct (read it contain) my inner artist. As an agent (I confess he only presents himself a few times), I imagine how everything will impact the client, if it will sell, if it will be profitable, etc. This made me think that programming is a kind of creativity.

Like the “creators”, we:

  • Have problems to solve (sometimes with an abstract definition of it)
  • Inspiration moments
  • Try out existing or invent new methods
  • We defend, revise, improve and give up on our ideas
  • We try to sell ideas/concepts
  • We think about the impact things will have (even if just a little)
  • And many more

Tara’s post gave me awareness of this “triad” and how to begin to understand and improve them, because we all need to have the three. Does not need to be in equal percentages, but they all must exist. And there will be always a situation when one of them is more suited. She also gives an advice to make it easier to switch between them. Try to associate each personality with a color and a song. That is so cool! When you need to impersonate one of them you can think of the color or the song you choose for them. Awesome.

I only choosed the colors of mine so far:

Artist: Blue
Because the first thing that comes in mind when I think of art is the Ocean. The movement of the waves, the sound of it.

Editor: Black
Because black is raw, it does not change. Its pure, its logic (at least for me, heheh)

Agent: Red
The passion, the hate, the good, the bad, the wow, the yeah.

I will never think that I’m not a creative person anymore.

What are your colors? What are your songs? Feel free to comment about them šŸ™‚

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6 comments so far

  1. Vasco Avillez on

    White for art. Art is about freedom and paradoxes and white has them all.

    The editor is the story teller. So I would go for yellow or over, something mystical.

    The agent is the messenger. So if all of the others have done their job the color the agent should have, should be a very neutral one. And black is the absence of color so it should be black. But this rarely the case. So he is more often than not a very dark bloody red or a dodgy purple.

    • Rafael Ribeiro on

      Liked your colors bro, and the logical thinking about them. What would be of the yellow if everyone liked the blue right? šŸ™‚ Thanks

  2. Fernando Mendes on

    My color, for so long, is Velvet Underground’s song… Sister Ray!

  3. Adelino Portela on

    Listen to this talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/david_kelley_how_to_build_your_creative_confidence.html. Learn to believe in your creative self! šŸ˜‰

    • Rafael Ribeiro on

      Thanks Adelino, I’ve seen it and it is amazing. This talk also started my little inner revolution a couple of months ago. And what about your colors, have you thought of that?


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