I feel thrilled when building infrastructure. movies.io for instance was a beautiful product: at the time, arguably the most polished movie downloading experience. At its core though, it remains infrastructure, infrastructure to watch a movie.
I keep meaning to publish recordings of Chopin pieces. But even when I practice four hours every day, I’m not content. Happy, yes, touched, transported, emotional, sad and strangely iridescent in the mind, but not content. Tis not perfect enough. Perhaps it never shall be.
I’ve made games before, but not really. I’ve mostly pieced together the infrastructure to make games. The language, the compiler, the graphics library, the physics engine, the bachelor’s apartment with guest mattresses for long nights of coding.
Infrastructure is easy, because your heart and soul don’t have to be in it. Your brain definitely should be, your wits, your sense of organisation, your sense of weeding out the vaporware and your sense of smelling the upcoming industry standard.
Infrastructure doesn’t define yourself.
Infrastructure doesn’t have to be unique.
But art… art is another thing entirely. It’s easy to scribble, because nobody can possibly take you seriously. Because it is so very obvious to everyone partaking, that you are plainly just messing around without any palpable consequences. It doesn’t matter, so you get to be covertly creative, on stolen time, in-between software installations and coffee cups.
And then you ninja your way to a prototype of something. Perhaps a comic strip pilot, or the first chapter of a novel, perhaps a 48-hours jam game that you really want to make into a full thing. And a few months later, you’re not scribbling anymore. You’re in a committed relationship with that thing, and as the wedding keeps eluding, you are experiencing a serious case of cold feet.
What am I missing out on? Think of all the arts out there. It’s been forever since I wrote any musical note on paper sheet music. My guitar doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. I miss the smell of paint.
The closest I do to art these days is writing. But only short pieces — that’s all my bipolar mind will allow me to do. The sentiments come and pass too swiftly for me to hang on to any of them. I fail at large art projects not because I lack determination, but because I lack faith.
Forgive me, 13-year old me, for I have sinned. You could build the lego cinema projector, but I could never finish animating a movie.