My roommate asked me the question: how drawing is related to my career? So, I decided to write a blog post about this.
Firstly, I don’t like to purely monetize every thing I do as related to my career. This ends up turning everything I do into “work”. I believe that a healthy balance between treating your work as play can improve the quality of your work, as well as make the experience more exciting in life.
The question should be, rather than how does drawing relate to my career, but how does drawing relate to my life? This is where the line between work and life balance blurs.
Drawing/illustration/animation/painting/design to me, is a new way of seeing the world without restriction. Whether it be through being a graphic journalist visually doing a restaurant review of a new restaurant in Taipei’s Shilin Night Market, a language teacher animating/cartooning real-life dialogues about relationships in Korean to Korean language students, or a participatory urban/transportation planner creating a crowd-sourced origin-destination map of where people travel in a urban area (with transport mode), I argue that drawing, or art, in general, sparkens our imagination and creates value/understanding in the actions and decisions we make. It is an indispensable part of our culture, play, and makes us who we are.
I see art/drawing/visualization as a tool in creating empathy and inspiring others to make better decisions, and an essential tool for communication / problem solving that can be applied in many jobs, ranging from urban planning, design, engineering, journalism, science, teaching (think KhanAcademy; imo, I think a lot of high school & college textbooks should be illustrated rather than wordy). It’s really unfortunate that we don’t encourage the arts that much since I see art as a form of play that empowers us.
I don’t like the term career as I already know that I will be changing careers multiple times in my life. For example, I am not afraid to admit that I won’t be an urban planner forever. I’m also not afraid to admit that while I have a strong interest in Chinese language, there may (or may not, who knows?) be a point in life where I might shift to Korean, Japanese, or Portuguese language. I’m also willing to accept that I someday would love to be a Chinese food journalist and run my own cooking show looking at the delicacies of Yunnan or Sichuan cooking. Hey, maybe someday, I can be a playground designer in inner city areas where playgrounds and public spaces are limited, ranging from playgrounds for children to playgrounds for the elderly!
Back to the point: regardless of what I’ll end up doing, I would like to use art / design to rediscover new experiences in how we live life, and to inform and influence better decision making and problem solving. This is essentially separate from career, but rather is a lifestyle choice that I choose to embark on.