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Ask HN: Alt. paths for a CS guy who has always been tilted away, towards arts?

I'm ~30. Been an Android dev for ~8 years. I am pretty good at coding but I have never been passionate. It just pays the bill. I recently received a promotion that makes me question my current career status quo even more.

I am kind of at my wit's end. I struggle with the idea of resigning and just going travelling for few months but my job is my only source of income. No, I am financially very sorted, just that I don't have a huge savings corpus.

When I look back I have always been interested in literature, cinema, history, and arts in general. But I am also under no impression that I am an artist. Architecture fascinated me. I was opting for it at college but family didn't let me. Peers and seniors all advised against it. At leat in my country (India) only those opted for the field who couldn't get into mainstream engineering streams.

I was listening to a podcast episode once; in that a British woman was the guest and she used to make old stuff for films. Old newspapers, postcards, stained old crumpled pieces of paper. I found that really exciting.

I am a hobbyist beginner level carpenter. I like the idea of making/designing/conceptualising/imagining things that one can touch, look at, admire. I have always been writing in my own capacity. I write in my diary regularly (not just the daily entries but a lot more than that) and sometimes publish among literarily inclined friends and acquaintances in my native language Hindi.

I am trying to find cross disciplinary masters and PhDs and whether I can shift to something else at Masters level than CS that allows me to move into another field. But so far I have really not found anything. Or maybe I am not finding the right way.

I just thought I will post it here hoping someone might have gone down this road. I know no one can give me a readymade route but I hope to get some hints at reading the road signs.

8 pointscrossroadsguy posted 2 months ago8 Comments
thecupisblue said 2 months ago:

Do it. Do it. Build on the side. Go home and do it. Code is also art - screw PhDs, masters or whatever - art isn't in imaginary paper degrees, it's in you. Just make more stuff. Make your art, put it out there and show it to the world. If you're an artist, then nothing anyone advises or says will stop you from creating. Otherwise, you're just wishfully thinking. The first ingredient to being an artist is having the boldness to start creating something.

MH15 said 2 months ago:

Yes. This. If you have a computer and internet, there are thousands of hours of quality tutorials. I'm a CS guy who's very interested in rendering and animation and I'm improving my skills substantially just by posting on the internet for feedback.

codingdave said 2 months ago:

Same boat here - I have a degree in Art, but fell into tech work and have been paying the bills with it for 25 years.

My answer is that I do side projects that build tools to help artists. I also do some basic woodworking and try to remember to unplug at the end of each day and make something.

At the end of the day, I find that I enjoy making my money working for someone else, and then letting my creative side be a hobby. So while I wish you the best in finding a new path, sometimes the answer can be as simple as accepting your day job for what it is, then living the rest of your life doing what you love.

AbolTabol said 2 months ago:

Hey, you might want to look at NYU ITP. It's courses are at the intersection of Art and Technology and might be in line with what you are looking for. I am currently studying there and would be happy to chat about it. (Also, I am from India and started school here in my 30s)

crossroadsguy said 2 months ago:

Thank you. I'd love to talk to you about it. How could I contact you?

AbolTabol said 2 months ago:

You could mail me at my gmail id: chakravarty(dot)arnab

shams93 said 2 months ago:

It's not easy I have an MFA I. Art if I didn't know how to code I'd be homeless. Teaching art you get adjunct faculty after a PhD you'll make less money than fast food. Technology has been great at putting the nail in the coffin of the arts. This is intentional as society us shifted to a facistic totalitarian model every profession has to be absolutely geared toward the benefit of a tiny wealthy minority. The society that had a major arts Renaissance in the 1960-70s no longer exists. Art is dangerous to facism that's why the web us designed to strangulate it.

badpun said 2 months ago:

> acistic totalitarian model every profession has to be absolutely geared toward the benefit of a tiny wealthy minority

There's plenty of self-employed people and small businesses which absolutely do not benefit the "tiny wealthy minority". Event artists count in this area (self-employed ones), it's just that not that many people or companies are willing to pay for art.

> The society that had a major arts Renaissance in the 1960-70s

Can you expand on that? People were buying more paintings back then?