Techies and Artists: Similarities and Differences

Often times you’ll read about the similarities between people that are into science and technology are also into different types of the arts, such as music or painting.  While they’re both creative, they can go in different directions, here’s a short overview of each.

Techies

Some of the common attributes for activities in science, design or technologies:

  • Brain Focus: Applying creativity for problem solving, what you could say is more left brain focused.
  • Work Environment: Usually work in isolated environments, at least for the actual work part.
  • Background: With few exceptions, usually different types of formalized education is required, such as getting a bachelors, masters, doctorate, etc.  that said, once started pretty much everything is whatever the latest technology is, usually about a decade ahead of universities.
  • Product Types: The products created are often tools, programs or processes to make things more efficient.
  • Product Life Cycle: The value of their product or work is generally highest when first introduced, decreases over time through integration or others copying.
  • Compensation Are usually paid for the service of the developing or designing the product at the marketable service rate, regardless if the product being design is a hit or not.

Artists

And the common attributes for artists such as musicians, painters, or writers:

  • Brain Focus: Using creativity for new ideas, imagination, expressing a feeling, generally more right brain focused.
  • Work Environment: Are usually creating or working alone, without unwanted distractions.
  • Background: While going to school for it is available, most artists are relatively self-taught, with influences from others in the industry or past.
  • Product Types: The products created are often ways to organize different types of ideas or experiences across a range of topics.
  • Product Life Cycle: The value of their work can often increase with time, as their audiences or popularity grows for a relatively finite amount of work.
  • Compensation Are usually paid on commissions based on how many are sold, this being after the product cost, distributor and partner commissions.

Similarities

How they’re the same:

  • Brain Focus: They both can be very creative, with techies looking to apply order to functional aspects and artists applying order to non-purely functional aspects.  Such as a solution and a joke can be appropriate answers for different problems, not necessarily interchangeable.
  • Work Environment: Both generally preferring working in non-group environments.  Even though others may be involved, such as for marketing, sales, or working with others in the project, the specific work they’re responsible for is usually done in isolation.
  • Background: While techies generally have more formal education, both are similar in that the reality of getting things done is based on what they’ve learned on their own, whether on the job or other learning activities.
  • Product Types: They both produce a product to help making things more efficient, whether a process for tech or different ideas and concepts for artists.

Differences

How they’re different:

  • Brain Focus: While both creative, no doubt the enormous amounts of math, chemistry, or physics required in the techie side gives weight to the left.
  • Background: More formalized for techies for the basics in math, chemistry, or physics.
  • Product Types: Techies produce a product that makes processes more efficient, artists produce ideas or concepts that help to organize a range of different topics.
  • Product Life Cycle: While some technologies will last a decade or longer, much of the work from artists doesn’t get going until about a decade after release, or often once dead.  Technology is going for the newest solution versus artists are usually using basic technologies to integrate new ideas, such as a pad and paper or using a blank canvas.
  • Compensation: While some techies get involved with startups or some artists do service based work, generally it’s the opposite and probably appropriate.  As technology usually needs the latest, great, and most expensive equipment to work on, this is not easily done independently and thus to work in tech, you’re working with a larger, established organization.  This versus for artists usually needing minimal equipment but good ideas or skills, and you end up with a more product/commission based environment.

In summary, both are similar and while having differences, can be used to compliment each other, such as tech providing tools for artists to create and share their work, and artists creating content for new forms of technology, such as a story for a movie.

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