Artist to Engineer Or Is It Engineering to Artistic Talent?

Why do some children grow up and wish to be engineers? Some kids end up in the engineering department because they were good at math and science, while the other kids weren’t. Some kids flock towards engineering and battle the difficult mathematics of academia along the way – these kids probably started doing sketches and doodling, creating new ideas and innovations perhaps the drawings. Is it possible that someone can be highly creative, but also completely logical thinking as engineers must be?

Indeed, that’s probably a rare individual. Nevertheless, it is amazing how many engineers have hobbies in the arts. Some engineers get together with their friends and play musical instruments, or join a band. Others enjoy architectural modeling, HO scaled railroad, some enjoy building model airplanes and flying them by remote control. Still others are designers at heart, and they create renderings, drawings, and even artwork along the way.

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There was an interesting article in the February 2013 issue of American Scientist titled; “Engineering in the Abstract – How Manierre Dawson made the transition from drafting table to easel,” which brings up some decent points. First, let’s consider Leonardo da Vinci as he was both an engineer and an artist, talented and skilled at both, unbelievably so. They say that the ability to replicate a thought onto a 2-D plane is something that only higher-intellect brains can do. For that I’d agree.

In fact, I would say it is a special type of mind which is able to do both extremely well. Many folks who are really good at drawings, innovations, and new concepts are very good at engineering, and if you were to build some of what they create on paper or by way of modeling it could never survive in the real world, all because the engineering is feasibly impossible using current day materials. Still, what happens when that all changes, when we are using graphene and carbon nanotube materials?

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At that point will there be more artist engineers, as more things will be possible? Or as more things are possible and show up in our society; will more engineers become artists? Does someone really need to be bipolar to be able to do both or can some minds train themselves to do either/or at will? These are all very decent questions and if we start to study the examples we have in our society, we can better understand just how special these individuals with these type of brains, those that can do both, actually are. Please consider all this and think on it.


by Lance Winslow