Creativity adds up

Friday, June 4, 2010

I think those involved in technical fields like engineering or medicine have a predisposition for art.

Yes, there are those artists who are artists to the core and think of no other occupation that would satisfy them except that of a professional artist. I, however, am talking about the people who retire or have enough time for a hobby and a career.

I once dated a guy who was going to school for engineering and was an amazing artist. He won awards and sold several things. He sparked my theory.

I've interviewed dozens supposed left-brain career folk for stories about their art and music, two purported right-brained subjects. They were orthodontists who love photography or civil engineers who loved to paint.

The subject of the main story in SE Live this week, Bill Caldwell, was raised in a family that had a long tradition of artistic talent. His family also had a long tradition of military service.

The uncle he most looked up to was in the military during World War II and designed maps and terrain models while in the Pacific Theater. Caldwell himself worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for many years, helping in national disasters like hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Rita in New Orleans.

Art requires attention to detail. It usually involves a master plan and then the completion of several parts to create the whole. Sometimes you have to improvise, like a painting that starts out as a sunflower field and ends up a dessert moon.

Engineering involves creativity, master plans and several parts. Professions in medicine require attention to minute detail and the ability to react to problems that arise.

Leonardo da Vinci worked in military engineering, architecture and produced some of the most magnificent art known today.

What came first? The artist or the engineer?

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