Art vs. Science: Why I Don’t Regret Choosing Writing Over A Career In Numbers

Art or science? That’s a choice we might have to make at some point in our lives, maybe when we’re deciding what to study. Or choosing our career. Or deciding on which passion path to take.

Art is commonly thought of as abstract work, work that doesn’t always follow particular patterns, work open to interpretation. Think the fields of writing, music, painting, photography. On the other hand, science is commonly associated with logic and grounded in rational thinking, Think the fields of astronomy, accounting, law, medicine.

Choose what you love. Do what you love. Lindsey Stirling, Melbourne, Australia 2017 | Weekly Photo Challenge: Order.

Choose what you love. Do What you love Lindsey Stirling, Melbourne, Australia 2017. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Order.

I was good at both in school. But it wasn’t until I finished university that I decided to focus on becoming a non-fiction writer.

Art or science? What we want in life often plays a part in which we choose, and it’s a choice that shapes who we are.

Some of us choose arts over science because we love the free-falling, anything-goes liberating feeling that comes with creating art. No need to fit a mould, no formulas to dictate our imagination. There’s usually no right or wrong answer in the realms of creative art; what we create can be as wild as we think. When it comes to the creating process, psychoanalyst Rosa Aurora Chávez-Eakle argues the artist is in a constant state of self-actualisation while psychiatrist Kazimierz Dąbrowsk argues artists experience ‘overexcitability’, experiencing the world intensely. This kind of art often translates from within the depths of our soul, the depths of emotional feeling as we realise what we honestly feel – which makes it unique.

In high school, aside from English I studied physics, chemistry and maths. At university, I did a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Cultural Studies and Applied Mathematics – both majors scoring distinction. My stereotypical Chinese-Malaysian parents were full of praise for what I scored in maths, saying how clever I must be to ‘get complicated formulas’. On Cultural Studies, my mum frequently commented, ‘Study communications cannot get job, let me tell you’.

The wilderness of art and mechanics of science go together hand in hand.

The wilderness of art and mechanics of science go together hand in hand.

Typically in Asian cultures, it’s considered impressive if one can do the math (especially according to fellow blogger Autumn Ashborough’s Chinese in-laws) and each year studies show Asian countries continually come in tops in maths. Artistic professions involve more subjective evaluation and (cultural) discrimination. Hence a scientific stable job which also typically pays the bigger bucks is ‘the face of pride’ In Chinese culture.

I always liked the humanities side of my degree more. When it came to maths assignments, I applied numerical theory against numerical problems and got the answer. It felt ‘predictable without soul’. When I wrote an essay on the rise of hybrid cuisine, I suggested cooking comfort foods like ‘bon-bon-looking dumplings’ covers up cultural differences. Touchy idea, yes, but the lecturer loved it. I loved my own idea.

Creating art with far-fetched ideas, there’s the feeling anything’s possible. You feel the possible right within you.

Going down the path of the arts, some of us artists relish listening to different perspectives around us. It makes us ask ‘why’ about the world. Learning to respect what’s been said and taking our own stance, we find our true (artistic) voice, what matters to us and where others are coming from.

Art is the colour of how we think and feel.

Art is the colour of how we think and feel.

At university, I rejoiced whenever I had to write 4,000-word essays for my humanities subjects. I borrowed countless books and downloaded countless e-Journals from the library. Hours and hours I swotted over historical and modern literature. The more I read, the more I wanted to read and come up my original literature. On the other hand, applying a maths formula to a maths problem and getting the answer yet again, each time my mind went, ‘That’s the way it is’.

When we’re an independent artist, we learn to be an adaptable jack of all trades. It’s one thing to create art but another thing to share it with the world. There’s designing, marketing, promoting, publishing, networking, copyright issues to get around, budgeting and more when it comes to the process of connecting art with others.

After I finished university, I was unemployed and on social security benefits. Every day I went to the library in search for media/editing/journalism/research jobs online using the free Wi-Fi there. And learnt how to use CSS to brand the look of my blog, learnt the theory behind photography, and found a couple of paid online freelance writing gigs. Maybe if I focused solely on the write stuff I could’ve achieved more with writing. But my mind nagged at me to find a decent job. The passive, practical Asian stereotype within me told me to think for the future – because it worked for many of our forefathers, because it’s rational sense.

To be an artist, think hard. Work harder.

To be an artist, think hard. Work harder.

And so as an artist dedicated to our craft, we learn the lesson of underdog discipline. Not everyone will agree with what we create. Not all of us will be able to make a living off just creating something subjective. Not all of us will be able to spend as much time as we like on our art, especially if we have a day job. Most of us won’t sell a million pieces of our art. But if we love doing art enough, we’ll make time for it.

In 2014, The Good Universities Guide found up to 70% of those who studied a creative arts degree in Australia were still unemployed four months after completing their course. When I was unemployed after finishing my degree, my parents compared me with my friends who were engineers and accountants raking stable income. My mum often said, ‘See, study arts. Now NO job.’ It wasn’t pleasant to hear but it was reality. For three years.

Subsequently, I applied for any jobs that matched my skills and soon landed a competitive corporate desk job as a numerical data analyst. All day I balanced equations from spreadsheets on the computer. I felt miserably bored of the repetitive formulaic routine this job entailed, and lasted three months. Some time after that I landed a job that had nothing to do with number crunching, or writing except writing emails. But I enjoy it and it pays the bills and affords me certain luxuries. Outside of that today, I write. I write well aware of the fact that there’s a lack of cultural diversity within Australian media onscreen and off-screen, a lack of Asian role models to look up to. Dedicated artists hustle and make the most of circumstances to create their craft. As amputee model Jessica Emily Quinn said:

‘It doesn’t matter if your cup is half full or half empty, just be greatful you have a cup. Now make magic out of it.’

The heart inspires the art of our craft.

The heart inspires the art of our craft.

Choosing to pursue arts over science or science over arts doesn’t mean we’re less smart than those who choose otherwise. Arguably both arts and science go hand-in-hand, influencing each other. Arguably art is science and science is art. We might even pursue both for a living. Neuroscience has proven that we use both sides of the brain when we do any task. The world is where it is today because of both.

As writers, we need semblance of logic to organise the flow of imagined stories. As a mathematician who got offered a place to study Master of Science, admittedly I had to think outside of the box to figure out which formulas fit and solved equations during maths exams. Anything’s possible with both arts and science, and the reasons for pursing arts can be the same for pursuing science too.

When we do what we love, it doesn’t mean it comes easy to us or we’re good at it as much as we like. Studies suggest practice does not make perfect, ‘performance difference’ can depend on genetics and opportunity. I never struggled with maths in school. But words and writing never come naturally to me. Every day when I read emails at work, sentences appear jumbled in front of my eyes and it takes me a moment to unjumble them.

Each blog post here goes through drafts over days before I feel each one gets its message across. Over the last two years, again and again I’ve opened the draft of my book about growing up in Australia only to close it with no changes made – no inspiration. But I do believe, inspiration will come some day.

There'll be crazy things we'll do for our art.

There’ll be crazy things we’ll do for our art.

Whether or not we prefer art or science also comes down to our personal preference and what makes us happy. Sometimes we’d feel something is ‘just not for me’ and other interests ‘why not’. Along this writing journey, photography (for this blog) captivated me more and more. It’s something I enjoy, something I want to do more of and put writing aside at some point.

On the topic of success, ‘making it’ is vague in the arts as art is subjective, likability subject to personal taste. In 2014, Princeton researchers found we are more biased than we think: participants in a study rated famous artists’ works higher than little known artists’. Though I don’t make a living off writing and probably never will, this artistic journey has been such an experience in my spare time over the years – academic journal publications together with academic scholars, this educational blog from no readers to a few comments, a chapter in collaborative self-help book Lady By The River. As artists, when we feel we’ve shared and touched others in some way with our craft, we feel like we’ve made a difference.

This was exactly how I felt when I met dancing electronic violinist Lindsey Stirling earlier this year for the third time. After posing for photos and giving Lindsey a high five, I gingerly reached down and pulled Lady By The River out of my bag. Held it out. Lindsey took the book, face lighting up and jabbed at it with her finger. ‘You wrote all this?!’ she exclaimed. I paused, star struck by the person who inspires a lot of my art. Then I said, ‘N-no. No.

‘I-I just played a part.’ Lindsey then kindly posed with the book for my camera and I walked away feeling on cloud nine.

Art is a team and one big ride together.

Art is a team and one big ride together.

Apart from finding self-confidence to create beyond the culture we come from, the beauty of being an artist lies in learning to be humble – learning to appreciate it’s never just about you. There’s always the ones closest to us, the believers, carrying a torch for us in spite of the ‘this is as good as it gets’ feeling we feel. Art is a team and one big ride together. On being mediocre and accepting that, Lindsey said:

‘Maybe my best isn’t as good as someone else’s, but for a lot of people, my best is enough. Most importantly, for me it’s enough.’

As a creative artist, you learn nothing’s ever perfect with yourself or your art. Or the people around you. Or the world. You deal with it.

You get some. You give more.

Are you more of an art or science person?

Advertisements

238 thoughts on “Art vs. Science: Why I Don’t Regret Choosing Writing Over A Career In Numbers

  1. Science or Arts!! Ah… a million dollar question, which has inspired parents for a century but has plagued many students. Given the opportunity, all ambitious and helicopter parents would push their children towards science. Many of them make it a family honor and a personal issue, as they feel only those who study sciences are intelligent, successful and financially well placed!

    There was a time when Art was looked down upon but it has emerged as a valuable and esteemed branch of studies in the modern times, thanks to the success of artists in various fields especially media and cinema. I agree with those who argue that ‘art is science and science is art.’ It is the combination of both that has lead to the greatest inventions. When people scoffed at artists and called them dreamers, they forgot that all ideas germinate in the mind and are dreams of somebody till they are worked upon seriously and become realities, which are later called inventions.

    I strongly agree with you Mabel, our own preferences are more important than what others want. I can understand your mom’s jibes at your choice of arts as I too could never concentrate on Maths equations and found Literature more interesting. Sometimes I feel I could have been a photographer, a painter or a musician if I had got the right opportunities. 🙂 Thanks for taking up this topic, it holds universal relevance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like how you say it, ‘million dollar question’ when it comes to art and science 😀 True that sometimes we choose because we feel obligated towards our families for making that choice. Because we have been given a good life, we feel like we owe it to them to repay them in some way.

      So, so, so true that art has long been looked down upon and ‘dreamers’ have not been taken that seriously. I think that’s because some reckon dreamers just sit there and dream; ‘dreamers’ can work on something yet never seem satisfied with it and so never show it…I’d like to think this is because our art takes times to develop. It is not only cultivated, but thrived and takes life from the experiences we feel that are true to ourselves – and these experiences aren’t always easy to interpret.

      Literature sounds right up your alley. You must have enjoyed many a literature class in school and didn’t want the classes to end 🙂 Also no surprise to see you so accomplished at poetry today. Thank you for showing us the beauty of art through your poems, long and short. Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. As one humanities person to another, I encourage you to keep on being true to yourself and seek out inspiration!

    Congrats on meeting your heroes as well, that can be very important on the path… (and great photos as well!)

    Science is of course very important. But I definitely understand what you mean about predictability. It’s alwaya worth it to challenge yourself 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ray. It is certainly not easy doing art…and always happy to help out with your books when need be. I hope you will have a next one 🙂 Hope you get to meet your heroes some day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, wow, I didn’t expect to find a shout out in this one! Thanks, you are too kind.

    Kudos to you for being able to buck the trend — and your Asian parents — and write. I think Andy sometimes wishes he had gone in for cooking or farming, however brilliant he is at all the math. But in the States, we’ve got to be able to afford health insurance as well as food, and a steady engineering job provides that.

    On the other hand, sometimes I wish I had gone for more practical degrees, which might result in more validation, if only in the form of a steady paycheck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mabel I applaud you for following your dreams and doing what feels right for you. It seems that Lindsey has been a huge inspiration to you. I loved the description of you giving her your book. What a cool moment. Some fabulous photos here of her obviously amazing concert. My favourite of course is the hug. What a heartwarming memory for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whenever people ask: X vs Y, I often wonder if there’s a false dichotomy underlying the question (eg Christianity vs science is commonly falsely assumed to be mutually exclusive). For your particular question, I like to think of fractals: visual imagery with often astounding artistic and aesthetic value, all undergirded by fascinatingly complex and inter-related mathematical functions. There’s also a niche but growing field in music called ‘live coding’, where software developers create and overlay audio sub-routines in real-time to produce synthetic music. If you don’t mind electronic music genres, the performances (at least the few I’ve seen/heard) really are quite good. So it’s not always a case of having to choose one or the other. 😉

    But often it is, and probably true when it comes to finding a job to make a living with (not all of us can make art with science like the MythBusters!). While it’s certainly wise to set yourself up for a reasonable income in order to survive, the idolisation of work and money – particularly in Asian cultures – isn’t helpful, as you’ve experienced first hand. Your mother berating you for your unemployment after studying, while perhaps meant well in the sense that she wants you to be able to support yourself, is exactly the sort of discouragement that induces unhealthy stress and behaviour in Asian school students. Perhaps all the more significant given the high rates of teenage suicide in Australia.

    I find it interesting how you describe maths procedures as ‘predictable without soul’. On one level, that’s correct. And it’s precisely that predictability that allowed me to enjoy and excel at it in school – you either have the right answer or you don’t, and even if you don’t you can still earn the majority of the marks by demonstrating you’ve followed the correct procedure even if you made mistakes in some of the calculations (QED ;)). I liked subjective work less – like writing essays, whether for English literature or Economics, etc – because I’m really at the whim of the marking teacher. If he/she didn’t like what I wrote – even if it’s a fair argument – I could be marked down for that. It is fortunate that you had a lecturer who enjoyed your ideas.

    (CSS is awesome, BTW. I still remember the days of presentational details being embedded in the HTML itself, and all the cross-browser compatibility issues that go along with that. Ugh. ~shudders~)

    So yeah, I’m very much on the science end of the spectrum in terms of preferences and talents. My mind favours following rules and logic and I’m definitely not the creative sort. I was never any good at writing stories during my school time and while I did participate in church and school choirs and play the keyboard and electronic piano for some years, I suppose I was stronger on the musical theory than the practice! That said, I am putting my creative side into practice a bit more in recent years with hobbies like photography, although I still approach it more from a technical angle than a creative one – from my previous job I learned things about digital imaging like the relationships between apertures and exposure times, depths of field, vignetting from lenses, framing and positioning, colour saturation and filtering, etc. Those who see what I take (for example, my photography of the Dusty Boots Pilbara trip – we are leaving for the 2017 trip in two weeks!) remark on the quality of what I share, but I’m still in a very different league to those who can take spontaneous and artistic photos intuitively (as you seem able to do)!

    Lastly, on the subject of bias, this is definitely true. I experience this a lot first-hand, when people speak against me or other Christians with preconceived notions and misconceptions, seemingly not evening listening to what I’m trying to say because they are already biased to believing exactly the opposite. So on that note, thanks again for being willing to listen (read), and for continuing to write – with as much effort as it takes to draft, review, and publish all this! It’s great that you got to meet one of your favourite artists again too, that’s always fun, especially one that seems to mean so much to you.

    PS Don’t know if your Jessica Quinn quote is a typo or part of the original quote: ‘greatful’ -> grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘visual imagery with often astounding artistic and aesthetic value, all (undermined) by fascinatingly complex and inter-related mathematical functions.’ I really, really like how you say it, and also this comment. A lot of the time we take so many things at face value and take things as they appear at first impressions. As argued, everything in this world seems to be interrelated. I’ve never heard of ‘live coding’ – but maybe you might mean using computers and digital equipment to create sounds and music, creative art. Quite an interesting concept.

      I was unemployed for quite a while after study and looking back, if I had chosen a different path and set myself on a different course and a wiser mind on money, maybe I wouldn’t be going so hard at work now 😀 Then again, I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had chosen this path back then. Good to hear you enjoyed maths and science in school. Maybe QED is a generational thing – I’ve never really seen that or used that at the end of a maths question. Especially after solving a challenging differential integration or applying the Bernoulli equation to solve a fluids problem, I’d just want to move on to the next one…and get the next equation right and perfect. In way, maths brought out the perfectionist in me and I don’t think in a good way although it was fair game as you put it.

      I love CSS and I used it to tweak my blog design. But it took me a few months to get the design right :/

      Very hard to believe you are not the creative sort. You seem to leave mindful comments and essays here just like that – and each one is a story. I am sure you were good at practical piano and you impressed your church with your skills every now and again back then. (Now, I was also so much better at musical theory and was always a step up over practical). And the photography theory you learnt – though you need logic to work out camera functions, you also need creativity to bring it all together which from the sounds of it, you have plenty of 🙂

      Good luck with the upcoming Pilbara trip. Maye it be an inspiring one, and a safe one too. I’ve always, always spelt it ‘greatful’ despite knowing the origins. ‘Grateful’ reminds me all too much of ‘grate’ 😀

      Like

      • Undermine, to me, has connotations of subversion or sabotage. But anyway, the point was the same as yours, that there can be science to art and an art to science. (: As I said, live coding is quite a niche field so not many would have heard of it – there might be variations to it, but the key things I’ve seen is that it involves actual programming (as opposed to GUI sequencers that DJs and composers might use) and that it’s performed in real time, not recorded or composed beforehand.

        Of course. So much of our wisdom is a product of hindsight, and yet, as hard as some things can be they are a crucial part of who we are. The MythBusters joke about failure being always an option (usually in the context of a ‘failed’ experiment still being useful if it yields information), but I remember seeing Adam Savage give a non-TV talk on how a big failure on his part once cost him a very close and dear friendship, yet plays a big part in how he works and drives himself today.

        Ha ha, yeah, I never used QED that much either, but it does seem to be used a lot in more archaic explanations. Funnily enough, I never studied high school physics – though I would have liked to – because I ran out of units taken up by other subjects. Interesting that you say the maths and science exercises drove you to perfectionism – it’s not a trait I typically see in artistic and creative types.

        It works for me. Too many sites nowadays are geared to mobile phones which, being primarily a desktop user I find is an unhelpful and gross waste of space. I suppose there is an art to the science of UX design, the so-called ‘modern’ design heavily influenced by Windows 10 (flat-shaded buttons and plain, monochromatic iconography, etc) seems to be quite popular now, but I don’t like it that much. No pleasing everyone!

        Ha ha, I do tend to be rather verbose, don’t I? But an essay doesn’t equate to a creative novel. Well, in this generation of social media and instant gratification, I notice a lot of people don’t put much thought into their comments (speaking generally, not typically those who post here!) and have terribly short attention spans (tl;dr). Where some might just quip something like ‘cool!’ or ‘awesome!’, I try not to say/write anything unless it’s substantial and constructive. (:

        I played keyboard/piano for personal interest (admittedly at Mum’s encouragement), but I never took exams or anything like that like as so many of my friends and classmates did, I didn’t progress beyond equivalent of grade 3, which is quite low. After high school, I dabbled with sequencing on the computer, but I was never creative enough to come up with my own compositions. For singing, I have a pretty small vocal range nowadays, I would guess no more than an octave and a half and I definitely don’t feel confident to take lead though I can follow quite well, which is why choirs suited me fine. On the visual side, I don’t have the skill to come up with my own drawings – though I might frame something in my mind I can’t put it on to paper/screen, so I usually use references. Which leaves photography, where I usually just shoot whatever scenery and perspectives look appealing to me at the time, and try to make sure I have good lighting and exposure.

        So yeah, that’s me. (: I’ll happily look after the technical back-end and leave the public performances to the creative and artistically talented. Thanks for the well-wishes, in spite of all the preparations, it usually goes by very quickly, I’ll be back in Sydney again very soon!

        (And greatful isn’t a word, though I completely understand the unpleasant association with ‘grate’ and ‘grating’ ;))

        Like

        • ‘So much of our wisdom is a product of hindsight’. So, so well said again. Sometimes we don’t know what’s going on until we have seen it happened in front of us, or more so when we take the time to deconstruct and reflect on what happened. I think that’s something Mythbusters does so well with science (pity the show was cancelled last year). I didn’t know Adam’s failure cost him a close friendship. Very sad. It makes me think how passion can sometimes cost us relationships when it never intended to.

          You would probably have liked physics if you took it in high school – it is applied to a lot of every day practical situations. That was the science subject I had to work hardest at, though. It never came naturally to me like it did maths. Really, you don’t see perfectionism in artistic and creative types? Personally I feel very much need to be ‘perfect’ on so many levels with my art – the balanced view points, the backing up of ‘sweeping statements’ in non-fiction writing, post-processed photos, you get the picture. It’s one thing to say there’s no right or wrong answer, and another thing on how you actually do something…

          Interesting you brought up the subject of technology. A lot of my artistic friends are inclined to use Apple products. Me on the other hand I prefer Windows and PCs but like you, I am not a huge fan of Windows 10 or UX designs (when it comes to blogs for the latter) for the reasons you mentioned.

          Good to know what creative medium you are comfortable with. It is amazing how you experienced and partook in so many different art forms from computer to piano to singing and now photography. And now seemingly writing too. Or maybe you are just a very versatile and easy-going kind of person 🙂 Always a pleasure to converse with you, Simon. I too tend to be rather verbose with my words. And it’s how I like it 🙂

          Like

          • I remember Adam giving a talk about one of the show’s most popular mottos, ‘failure is always an option’, and he described a personal situation from many years ago where he took on a project for a close friend with whom I believe he described as having as deep a platonic relationship with as possible without being romantic. He thought he good do this job for her (or her associates), he believed he could do it, but as the time ran out and the costs blew out, eventually he found that he wasn’t able to deliver. With the shame of not being able to deliver and the embarrassment to his friend and the cost to her reputation, I understand their relationship fell apart.

            But in spite of all that heart-break, he said the experience taught him the danger of over-estimating his abilities and pushing himself too far. So, wisdom in hindsight. I’d like to think that he could have made up with her somewhere down the track but that’s obviously a personal story the public wouldn’t necessarily need to know about.

            Oh, I certainly think I would have enjoyed physics too, I just picked chemistry ahead of it (like the MythBusters – blowing up stuff… well, not really, but it’s still fun) and hit my unit limit as a result. One of my favourite science teachers took the physics class, much loved by other students too, and was given a Year 12 jersey with the title of ‘Master Yoda’, for his love of teaching them about the (physical) Force.

            After my last reply, I had a think about that and yes, I can believe there are some artists who would be absolutely perfectionist in what they’re trying to achieve, even though to the average eye or ear their work would be impressive enough already! As you describe, that’s a lot of things to try to get right!

            It’s interesting that the stereotype is very much that artistic types favour Apple products. As one who likes to tinker with and have control over my own hardware and software, Apple’s heavily-controlled approach is anathema to me, though I understand the restricted hardware set makes it easier to debug and support software. I also don’t like their tightly integrated ecosystem, the extremely high prices for the technology actually being offered, the over-hyped marketing, and their anti-competitive litigation against anything not-Apple, but that’s more to do with my subjective opinion. Which is not to say I’m a huge fan of Microsoft either, but my primary desktop is still Windows-based primarily because of the monopoly the OS has on PC games (though even that situation is gradually improving).

            Maybe you’re saying I’m more creative than I realise. Maybe that’s true. I’ll still leave the real artwork to those who are dedicated to and talented in that area. As for writing, I just type what comes to mind, if I’m writing a lot maybe that’s just because your words provoke me to think a lot. 😉 Thanks again for your patience, and I’m glad that we share an enthusiasm for words.

            Like

            • How cool to be called Master Yoda in Year 12. It must have been such an honour and you could have led the class in physics. I’m sure you were capable of it 🙂 Like you, I find it very, very fascinating how many artists favour Apple as previously mentioned. Perhaps it’s popularity has to do with its aesthetics. To me, Apple don’t necessarily simplify a lot of how we use our phones or consume entertainment and be creative – but rather more so cater to what we want to achieve more efficiently and playing up attaining the status quo so many of us desire.

              Write what comes to mind. Sometimes, that is easier said than done 🙂

              Like

  6. Definitely the arts for me. I have to point out though that some things that are associated with science like the rigorous testing of a theory, a good piece of art can stand up to a rigorous viewing as well. In my mind, some of the same underlying principles are being applied.
    Lovely photos!

    Like

    • Rigorous viewing. That is quite a word. True that there can be underlying principles – techniques and stylistic elements – embedded within each piece of art. It takes symbolism to tell a story.

      It was such a challenge taking these photos. For most part I wasn’t even looking at the camera – I was looking at the concert. Decided to go with the aperture wide open and hoped and hoped for minimal grain 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I could relate to this post wholeheartedly 🙂 I too chose art over science and have never felt more fulfilled. What matters is following our heart in the end. I’m so proud of you for doing so. You’re an inspiration. So nice of Lindsey to compliment you on your work! Lov always xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your support, my beautiful friend. I cannot express in words how greatful I am for you for commenting and supporting me as a person. It feels like I’ve known you for so long 🙂 It is so inspiring how much you read and come so far with your writing. Cannot wait for your third book in the trilogy and I will get you to sign it again. Lots of love back at you and take care ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mabel, another great post on a really interesting topic. I remain bewildered by the Asian stereotype of science, law and medicine when you consider the rich cultural heritage of our Asian forebears.

    It’s great you identified what you really love and what you really want to do and even though your parents might initially question your choices, your parents must be proud of how determined and strong willed you are.

    I don’t think Asian parents are only focussed on science, law and medicine, I think what they really want is for their children to work hard and strive to be successful. At least that was my experience. Even though I followed a science and medical path, when I changed direction in my career and joined the Australian Public Service as a branch head, my mother continually questioned me about when I’d return to my successful medical career rather than being a public servant. Even though I’m now a medical adviser rather than a branch manager, I am still explaining why I think I’m making a difference even though I don’t spend my entire time working in a clinical environment. It made them so much happier when I returned to clinical work one day a week.

    I’m glad I chose science and medicine, but with my recent attempts at doing my own artwork for my podcast, who knows what I’ll do next 😃

    Like

    • My parents actually call my strong-willed and determination stubborn. Not just once, but over and over and over again. I’ve been hearing that since I was a kid 😦 It’s something I am planning on writing in another post at some point.

      Wise words there, Gaz. Being successful has it’s perks and a lot of the time it’s when we can look out and reach out to others. Trying different career paths have opened doors for you – that is great and hope you enjoy both being an adviser and doing clinical once a week. Sometimes it is hard to explain why we work some place, and reason because it just feels right.

      I know what you’re going to do next. A book 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I had to laugh out loud. Stubborn according to my mother is my middle name. Obstinate also fits apparently!
        I prefer determined and strong willed though 😃😃😃

        Like

  9. Arts, without a second of hesitation! It’s such a huge part of myself since I was younger, I couldn’t imagine doing anything except Arts. I’m currently a Communication student, but I’ve also studied Music and Fashion, and played flute and piano for most of my life. There are many stereotypes and ways of thinking towards Arts degrees and careers, but what’s the world without art and what’s the world without science? the two go hand in hand 🙂

    Like

    • Good to hear you embrace art and your artistic side, Katie. It’s probably also why your blog posts on fashion and style always seem so honest and genuine 🙂 Good luck with your communications degree. May I ask what are you planning to focus on? I’ve had friends who studied that, focusing on journalism to publishing to creative writing 🙂

      Like

  10. What a beautiful post. I can relate completely. I went the “safe” route and got my PhD in nursing. I enjoy what I do, but I recently discovered that fiction writing is my passion. It’s been difficult because I’ve had family that have said it’s a “hobby,” so why waste so much time doing it. You go with your gut and try to balance work and your passion if you have to and pray that your passion works out!

    Like

    • Congrats on your PhD in nursing. It must have been a long time coming after a lot of hard work! Though it was a ‘safe’ route, it must have also come with a lot of experiences. I hope you get to write more fiction writing and even write a fiction book some day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Mabel. I love nursing. I don’t regret getting my PhD at all. It was a ton of work. I believe it prepared me to be a better writer honestly. I have written two YA fiction books. I’m waiting for a response from two literary agents on my second book. Maybe I’ll get to have the best of both worlds. I lived part of my live in the health/science world and get to spread my roots into the creative world. 🙂

        Like

  11. Pingback: Art vs. Science: Why I Don’t Regret Choosing Writing Over A Career In Numbers — Mabel Kwong | World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum.

  12. Its a classical problem. Science is looked up to…. while art is not. This attitude needs to change. Its only in artists imagination that sun is yellow or orange. For an artist sun can be green or pink too.
    Inspiring and engaging post, Mabel

    Like

  13. I am both! All! So are my daughters, which I encouraged. The are both licensed acupuncturists (by their own design, and quite coincidentally), but also painters, writers and lovers of life. To limit ourselves to one or the other, of art or science, defies the basic premise of a ‘liberal arts education.’ Why colleges expect a high school junior or senior to claim a Major upon applying is a crime defying transcendence. We all have that cup to make magic from – and somewhere lies the courage to follow our bliss. And yes, we might have to study as well some practical thing like communications so we have a fall-back plan, because efforts in the world tend to be circular, creative ventures tend to be hit or miss. But all the time we are sitting at a desk taking dictation or serving up delicious food somewhere, we are dreaming, refining, creating in our minds. Eventually we may well find we can ‘do what we dream!’ (from Neverending Story)

    On another note but not, your photographs are spectacular. I’ve added amateur photographer to my list of the many things I am qualified to do on my Medical Intuitive/Interior Designer website. I am, in the words of a fellow wordpress blogger, a “Renaissance Woman.” And how could that be anything but fabulous? 😉 Sending you buckets of hugs, Mabel! ❤

    Like

    • Aren’t we all both arts and science, Bela 🙂 Your daughters sound like strong independent women no stranger to appreciating and finding beauty in all things around them. ‘because efforts in the world tend to be circular, creative ventures tend to be hit or miss’ I felt this is a very interesting phrase from you. Definitely agree that the practical ventures in life tend to pay dividends in predictable ways. I do also think the creative side of life comes arond full circle too…maybe emotionally that happens, or sometime in the long run when things feel like they simply fall into place. I reckon so many of us long to be elsewhere, somewhere better even if we are doing what we love…maybe sometimes we really have to appreciate what we got.

      So much fun with these photos 😀 You are fabulous, Bela. Your photos on your blog are ever so enjoyable. Hugs right back to you ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Arts all the way. Science, well I had a few bright moments there but it bored the hell out of me so I never got enough motivation to study. Physics was pretty much the only class I got some interest as I could apply it within the “real world” whileas for example math was just too tiresome (though I had good results in it during my graduation years).
    So many teachers advised that I leave high school in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th grade (high school used to start here in year 5 just after elementary school). Math, English, Chemistry and German teachers said that I had no hope in ever finishing the school and I should focus on getting a middle school degree. Oh how I wish to meet them one day to show how wrong they were 😛

    Like

  15. When you are decent at both, it’s a tough conundrum! For me, the math skills paid the bills early on (finance), but the love of language and writing became a second career (teaching) once I was on firm financial ground. When I worked in banking, I dabbled in writing and, later, worked on a Masters in Linguistics, so I was ready to leap when I could. My son was given some wise advice recently when he thought about changing careers to be in the area of his passion. A friend said she had excitedly switched into a job that reflected her love of animals and soon after, that passion became “just a job.” She went back to her former job, which paid her well, and pursues her passion on the side, where she can 100% enjoy it!

    Like

  16. Superb and engaging post Mabel. And one that I can completely relate to. Ever since I was a child I wanted to be a doctor and was very academically inclined. Although I couldn’t make it to medical school I did my doctors in pharmacology and had a blast while doing it too. I adored medical science and thought nothing of spending hours oohing and aahing over the miracle of the human body and drugs – they were my first love! I couldn’t rest till I got to the bottom of each and decoded how they worked and what made them tick (or what made them tick us off!). With medical science by my side I wanted for nothing except perhaps a twinge or two of regret (in my rare instances of free time juggling home and work) that I had no artistic inclinations, no imagination no creativity (Err apart from my son 😉

    I was a hardcore fact and logical, pragmatic unemotional person – or so I believed.

    Life went on. I went about my business, got hooked to a tele-serial. As strange and unbelievable as it may sound this was the turning point of my life. The serial writers lost the plot and I found mine – Dahlia was born 😀 I wrote my own version on my own time (500 chapters long) working full time and had another blast. Circumstances enabled me to take a two-year sabbatical and I ventured into blogging and my only regret now is at having wasted so many years. But I guess there’s a time and place for everything. And I am blessed to be able to walk both the paths – of science and art…Oops I seem to have spilled my entire life story over here – but then I blame you! 🙂 You write such thought-provoking pieces, share such wonderful photos, provide such a welcoming non-judgmental platform that I just can’t help airing my views or sharing my life secrets 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story, Dahlia. It just goes to show how intelligent and a versatile person you are – embracing both the arts and science world and embracing both mindsets. Doctors in pharmacology sound challenging but also fascinating. You’re the first person I’ve come across who have gone that far with that field of study and career. It must be fascinating to discover how so many medicines and drugs work, how they affect both the mind and body 🙂

      You know, maybe you’d make a great detective on the show like CSI… 😀

      Glad you ventured in blogging or else we would have never have connected. Agree that circumstances can enable us to do certain tings we want – that is, circumstances can make it everything feel like it’s falling into place. 500 chapters is a lot of chapters and I am sure one day, it will be published in a book form. Or that you will publish a book 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Murder mysteries are my weakness 😀 But I am no expert just a Jill of all trades 😉 Many people who venture into arts (or don’t) blame it their parents especially in India for arts is not a ‘safe’ career. Funnily enough I faced greatest resistance to the idea of my writing (that too inspired by a serial on the idiot box) was my own self 😀 I couldnt digest my own defection or metamorphosis – hence the pen name. It helped me distance myself from my own wild untamed non-conformist crazy and unknown self. It’s only lately that I have begun to accept Dahlia as a part of me. The biggest hurdle to anything is from within!

        Like

  17. Mabel! your pictures are great. Looks like you were in the front role, close to all the action. From the your photos doesn’t look like you use flash which is good. make the image look alive and capture the colors from the surroundings.
    As for the Art vs Science or Science vs art it a complicated relationship for me. Am not great at either of them, just your average joe. In college I started off as engineering major then move to a math, then towards liberal art as a sociology degree. Reason for the hoping around is just couldn’t get through the more technical theoretical classes. Math, I could do the computation, but the theory side always gave me trouble. Don’t know why, maybe because am dyslexia. Writing isn’t my strong suit and gave me a lot of trouble in college. My writing was horrible probably because I didn’t have a solid writing foundation entrying college. Visited the writing center many times to get help with my papers. As for the art, I love art, but again just a average art person. I really can’t say if am one or the other or prefer one or the other since I’ve encounter many obstacle with science and art. I really love both and have many interest in those area, but it been a struggle to figure out what I like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ‘just your average joe’…’average art person’ This is so humble of you to say of yourself, Michael. I am sorry to hear that you couldn’t decide on a major and kept hopping aorund at university. But it sounds like you are flexible and verstatile – that you can do anything so long as your heart is in it. Computer programming classes at univresity gave me trouble too…so I understand where you are coming from. Hard to tell you have dyslexia. In fact from your comments on my blog and on your two blogs, I would have thought writing was your strong suit.

      Thank you so much about the kind words about my photos. I have always wanted to know it from the perspective of a photographer. You are right. I was front row (at the barrier) and didn’t use flash 😀 I also turned off the focus assist red light as I didn’t want the performers to be bothered by it. Was a bit worried about grain given the photos were shot mostly at ISO1250. If we get the chance to meet one day, you can teach me all about photography 😀

      Like

  18. Pingback: Order in Rows | What's (in) the picture?

  19. How nice of Lindsey Sterling to pose with Lady By the River. The pictures of are so well shot. She looks like a dream.
    I so agree with you on the stereotypes wrt art and science These hold so true in most of the Asian countries, I suppose, including in India, Just as your parents were full of praise for what you scored in maths, and felt you must be very clever to get complicated formulas, I have seen most parents in India (including myself) say the same to their children. I was smiling all the way reading this post, Mabel. I had opted for engineering probably because that was supposed to be a cool thing to do for anybody who scored well in maths and science. Like you writing never came naturally to me. It is only through blogging and now Instagram that I have discovered the creative side of me.
    But now I feel that at some stage when you do discover the inter-linkages between the two, you start appreciating both and understand how the streams complement each other. Like you have said art becomes a science and science becomes art. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was so kind of Lindsey to pose for me. I will never forget this moment 🙂

      It is interesting to hear how Indian parents and India culture in general is so similar to Chinese parents and culture. It sounds like you didn’t mind doing engineering much, Somali. As you said, it’s cool (it is!) and you were probably very good at it 😀 I am amazed at what you have achieved with Instagram. Not only do you have a knack for taking beautiful photos, you also have this amazing ability to engage well-wishers and like-minded people all round.

      Art and science both deserve appreciation in their own rights – and of course, together too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, it must be a beautiful, memorable moment for you, Mabel. Yes, there is a lot of similarities between Indian and Chinese culture when it comes to the preference for science over arts. Of what I know is that Chinese parents are even more rigorous than Indian parents when it comes to studies. And yeah, Instagram is my latest obsession, after haiku in the last 2 years. 😀 😀 Have a lovely weekend.

        Like

        • Hehe, it sounds like Indian parents can be a bit lenient and Indian kids may be a bit cheeky every now and then 😀 Always enjoy your Instagram. So good at it with engagement and photos that tell a story. Looking forward to seeing your IG posts every week 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Beautiful analysis of this great divide! Lots of fab encouraging advice too for people treading along this rewarding path. I feel we are stronger for doing what we love. Thank you for sharing the experience of keeping to the path of the hearts true calling. Your honesty and insights shine bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Order | Lillie-Put

  22. First, I disagree with the end of your sentence ‘though I don’t make a living off writing and probably never will….’ You are a very talented writer and I believe that if you keep at it, you will make money from it. I truly enjoy your posts.

    Second, I want to tell you how much I enjoyed the photographs in this post. So incredible. As I made your way through your post, I kept thinking ‘ooo, I wish I’d taken that’. Not only will you make money with your writing, but also with your photography…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lisa. You are very kind. If anything, I’d like to make a little something through photography. I do work hard on each photo I put up here 😀 I really wish I took more photos at the Lindsey concert. But then again, I was there to enjoy the show and enjoy I did with my own eyes 🙂 I cannot thank you enough for the compliment on these photos ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Pingback: Art or Science – TechNetLive

  24. I love this post, Mabel! It seems more personal than your writing sometimes is. (and I almost missed seeing it! 😦 ) You are always so generous with your interest and support of other people’s work and it’s great to see where you might be headed in life, and why. 🙂 The photos are wonderful (and I applaud the subject matter) and could certainly be a career path, though again, not an easy choice! So many incredible photographers out there. I wish you well in whatever you attempt, and one thing I know for sure is that you will put heart and soul into it.
    For me the choices were always easier as I’ve always been a words and heart person. The photos are a new pleasure. I didn’t make a success of my academic life, but I have found much fulfilment in life beyond that. Sending hugs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so kind, and also so right, Jo. There are so many amazing photographers out there and photography is a competitive field. And so is writing and anything really. With photography, a lot of the time I feel like I am free-wheeling it and don’t have anything I want to achieve. With writing, I often know how I want a certain piece of writing to turn out and what emotions I want my words to evoke. Your photography is always crisp, sharp and put together – and so much variety too. It looks like it comes effortlessly to you. Keep traveling, and keep taking photos. Apologies for responding so late – I actually missed seeing your lovely comment 😦 🙂

      Like

  25. Pingback: Order on the Bridge | What's (in) the picture?

  26. Super article Mabel and a tricky question 🙂 I work in the field of medical science (pathology to be exact) and that pays the bills, while art (poetry, writing and photography) are what thrill me. I think all artists would love to be able to make a comfortable living from their art, the reality is – not many of us do. Our son is an artist. He is a musician, a singer, mainly jazz but he has occasional forays into electronic and pop. He lives for his art – he sings for his supper and works between gigs and study in a recording/rehearsal studio. Sometimes he starves for his chosen path and other times he is richly rewarded… I sometimes envy his devil-may-care attitude 🙂 I am surprised at how many of my scientific colleagues are artistically inclined – my lab manager is a singer in a well known band and a couple of young scientists are painters (watercolours and oils) and a couple others keen photographers, one even makes extra cash as a portrait photographer. We have and excellent cake decorator and a couple of superb cooks among the scientist… the latter being my favourites 😀
    Thanks again for a brilliant article Mabel. Stay warm – it’s pouring with rain here and a chilly 19degC 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like you have a good life, Andy. Getting to live the best of both worlds is more often than not the best compromise and also the best scenario. Different worlds influence each other. Maybe your son is the exception, and good on him for doing what he loves even if it’s day in and day out. He seems to have it going, so it seems he is one of the lucky ones. One day he will probably be famous, laugh at you and then shout you a massive meal 😀

      Your office sounds so diverse and such a great place to be a part of. Must always be good treats around whenever there is an occasion to celebrate 😀 Enjoy your balmy weather, Andy. We are having 3-4’C at night already. Summer needs to hurry up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I count my self as a lucky person Mabel – I have a son who is doing what he loves, I have a wife who loves me and I think my dog does too hahaha! My workplace s full of people who I like to work with and socialise with and there are from a diverse range of backgrounds – once again I am lucky…. And I get to chat to nice people on-line 😉. Take care and stay warm – those shorts and singlets will be out before you know it 😊🙏

        Like

        • Always good to have good people around you and support what you do and you support them. It always makes for a better environment. I really cannot wait for shorts and singlets. We hit 17.8’C today 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  27. Mabel, you ask wether arts or science. Why not both? I never really knew it until I got into higher math in college, but there is definitely a connection between arts and math. Music for instance. The gorgeous art people have been making using fractals for another. I also learned in logic class that there are many ways to answer the question!
    I have always been a practical person. But also very stubborn. I wanted to find a job that I enjoyed but that would also pay the bills. I decided at 16 that I wanted to be a ‘ship captain’. I could travel the world, meet interesting people, not be stuck in an office all day, no commuting- a great life! When I started it really was the best job out there, all those good things about the job itself PLUS great pay and benefits!
    I’ve spent my life since then working at sea and loving the freedom of it and all the beauty I see every day out there.
    Too bad, I listened to my grandmother who insisted ‘you’ll never have a good job without a college degree” (the AAS degree and great job as a captain on a supply boat I already had didn’t count according to her). She was a pharmacist (and Italian) and a college degree was extremely important to her. I went back to school and eventually graduated with honors in Mathematics. Lot of good it ever did me!
    I went back to sea, to earn a living at what I loved. Sadly, that profession is being closed off more and more and I have been unemployed for close to 2 years now. In my ‘spare time’ (when I’m not stressed out from looking for a paying job), my artistic side has been breaking out more and more.
    I’ve started blogging (www.captainjillsjourneys.com), writing, drawing, painting and photography. I’ve even started getting into music again (I used to play drums, saxophone and flute in the school band, sing in chorus and played piano and guitar later on for fun). I enjoy all of that stuff, but so far have not been able to earn an income from any of it. Not even close.
    I keep hearing there are ways to earn an income from art. Blogging and photography. Don’t give up! Your writing and photography are both very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Though I allude to arts and science as one in this post, doing both in my life doesn’t seem to sit well with me – having had a few scientific-fields jobs in my life (this post was written for brevity’s sake), they just never worked out. But you are right – no reason why one can’t pursue a career in science and do arts on the side, or the other way round. Also how we create in each field is constantly dependent on what we do elsewhere.

      Good on you for following your path as a captain and sailing where your heart wants to go. You probably learnt much more than you did in the classroom or at university. Sorry to hear that profession has been get narrower these days and hope you get a stable job or a job that takes your mind off the bills at the very least. There must be a way around it, and maybe getting in touch with a local sailing community or abroad through online means can help you sail to the level you once were.

      Thank you for the kind words. Speaking of drumming, I’ve always wanted to give it a go 🙂

      Like

  28. I would hazard a guess that very few of us love what we do for a living, sadly. However, if you don’t hate what you do to make ends meet and can still find time weekly to follow your dream then there’s a chance you will attain the dream. Keep at it, Mabel. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  29. LOVED this post, Mabel. This is the eternal question—art or science? I’m an artist. I agree with you though that the two are intermingled and influence one another. Color is science, for example and as an artist I have to understand color theory.

    Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! I love that you got to meet her and give her your book. Your parents want you to be successful and self sufficient and that’s why they dis arts. It’s unfortunate that arts get such a bad rap from parents and people in general. It should be appreciated more thoroughly. It takes guts, heart and a hell of a lot of work to make a living as an artist. Respect.

    Keep on writing! Non-fiction is rational thinking that you share with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the eternal question with no concrete answer. That is so true – colour is science and it influences how the mind thinks too. Color theory sounds interesting 😊

      Agreed. Art not only takes guts but a lot of continued effort – time, patience and a reason to want to do it. Good luck with your art and writing, Lisa. You’re so inspiring 😊

      Like

  30. Geez I can just imagine how miserable you must have been crunching numbers all day long! I can’t do that either! I admire that you stood up to what you wanted to do (including standing up to your parents). The reason why I chose science over arts was because as a teenager we were moving around living in different countries, so science was the only “linear” education I had. Now as an adult I realise that I’m much more creative than scientific, which has probably been a bit of a catastrophe to my professional self, but I have managed to find the way to balance science with creativity.
    It’s also true what you point out that when it comes to creativity some people will like what you do and others won’t. It’s not because you’re bad at it, they probably just have different tastes. Keep up your work and dreams xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely wasn’t happy looking at numbers all day – and when you’re unhappy at work, it can also affect other parts of your life. True that we all have different tastes. It is great how you can balance your scientific work with your cooking and photography – the latter which I have so enjoyed following along on your blog 😊 Reading your blog always makes me think Sofia is a full time cook and chef. Won’t be surprised if one day you open your own restaurant 😊

      Like

      • Oh yes I know very well how being unhappy in work affects other parts of your life, even if you don’t want it to and try hard for it not to affect you. Aww you’re so sweet, I always think that opening a restaurant is too much work, but who knows?

        Like

  31. Most of us have talents in various fields. But there comes a time when we have to make a choice. It may not be forever, but the farther down that road you go, the farther you are from the other possibility and also the more you know about the field you have chosen. I find that once you get involved in something and learn more about it, you love it more.

    I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education, which I suppose is neither art nor science. When I started teaching, I was so enthusiastic about theories of learning and all the possibilities for lesson plans. I loved working with children. I thought that would be my lifetime work. But then I had three children in a row and soon after we moved overseas where I couldn’t get a work permit. I kept my finger in teaching through volunteer work–nursery school president, school board member. Eventually I changed course, first to art and then to writing.

    I think I could have done math or science just as well. But my main interest is in pondering life. I suppose that’s philosophy, but I think it’s also related to fiction writing. So you might say that I chose a field that has meaning for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like how you say it – the more you get involved in it, the more you learn about it. So true. The more you do, the more that art or thing you do becomes a part of you and you become a part of it.

      Education is applicable to many fields and it’s a transferable skills. Interesting to hear how your perception changed about it, but doesn’t sound like you ever fell out of love with it.

      I think we all like to ponder life 😊

      Like

  32. Art vs Science? It’s a tough choice to make. It would have been nice if we never had to choose between the two. I think, there’s creativity in art as well as science and the two have more in common than we think. I’d have loved to have a degree in Physics, cultural studies, and music. Having an all round view of any subject can help in the creative process. And I have a feeling that you’re writing is greatly influenced by the eclectic experiences and even education you’ve had. Don’t look back. You’re doing great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a tough choice. Both have their merits and benefits, which I’d often dependent on our outlook and what we hope to get out of what we do. I am sure your studies was equally ad interesting…and today, look at all the traveling you get to do 😊 Don’t look back. Wise words. Don’t look back unless it’s to help someone or learn all over again 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Both! Art and science. Science- as in research- is hard too, and succes in the field also depends upon incredibly hard work, dedication and luck. Join the right research team at the time of a discovery or breakthrough and you will become a famous scientist. Like the arts, many talented scientists do no make it big. We don’t have well paid jobs, we live off grants and short term contracts well into our careers. We also have to live with the the prospect of new knowledge undermining our cherished therories, and have the dscipline and criticism of other scientists when we publish. A scientific paper may get thousands of reads and citations, or none. As scientists we often love the arts and turn to them for recreation and to escape the harsh mental rigour of doing science. I admire the courage of pursuing one’s passion whether it is art, science … Or both. I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to combine my science (MRI scanning) with my art (guitar music) in MRIScannermusic on FB and writing. Excellent post, as ever. Keep writing your book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so true about scientists, and hours and hours of science research and trials may not bring about a discovery. When I worked in that field, I was offered mostly casual contracts – so you are right on living off day by day. A paper published often isn’t all about you; it’s a team effort just like a work of art. Amazing that you can juggle both worlds and sounds like it’s working out for you. Good luck and thanks for the nice words.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Well done Mabel, as always. Your photos are wonderful and your text very thought-provoking. How many people out there are working in jobs they hate and writing or photography or doing what they love on the side. Unfortunately our society is VERY fussy about which VERY small percentage of writers and artists can support themselves with their art. Keep writing and keep working. One day it will all come together I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Society is fussy when it comes to getting what we want. Then again, the world doesn’t revolve around us. On the flip side of that, we all deserve our own happiness. Keep taking photos and exploring, Tina. Always wonderful photos and text from you too 😊

      Like

  35. Mabel you pose some very interesting questions and thoughts in this post and it is rich with information. I like as well the photos which compliment the text well.

    In short, yes one CAN combine both art and science, or one can go from one to the other at different periods in time and in life depending on where life takes us and what experiences lead to others….It is all about balance and about how we connect the dots in life and experience and work and how these gel together over periods of time…

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true we all go through different phases as out life permits and changes and as we learn and grow. Balance is hard to achieve but it’s always good to keep in mind and remind ourselves there’s so much to enjoy in life. Hope all is well with you and keep traveling and creating 😊

      Like

  36. I used to sweat at the thought of writing a 200 word report on a book chapter in high school. I would count every “the”, “and” and “a” to ensure I reached my target. We all have biases and that which we are good and comfortable with.

    I have a foot in both camps. I do photography for the fun of it. If I did it as a profession, it would probably become a chore and no longer be “fun”. No harm in having divergent interests to keep the mind fresh and life varied.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In school a couple of hundred words is always so many words 😀 Sounds like you were sharp and always managed to crack the word limit. What you said is true. Do something just for fun, it will always be fun. Nothing and noone to dictate how you should do it most of the time. Looking forward to your photography as always.

      Like

  37. Hi Mabel! Firstly, Lindsey Stirling is awesome 🙂 How great that you saw her – for a third time, wow – and even got a hug (and photo to prove it!). I’m in awe of how she pushes the limits of music and dance, not to mention fashion! Thank you for letting us into your own experiences with arts and how you were drawn to essay writing over maths or sciences in school. I have always loved writing and used to draw and paint too. Math and Science always seemed so final for me, without options, if that makes sense. I liked the possibilities that came with imagination 🙂 And still do! I know that inspiration for your book will come one day soon ❤ Another beautiful, informative post!

    Like

    • Lindsey Stirling is amazing and it was literally a dream seeing her for the third time in a row 🙂 It’s amazing to see you write so much yourself, Christy. I’m sure you also write heaps outside of your two blogs, and I only have respect for that. Keep writing and may we meet some day 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  38. Only in reference to myself; a visual artist, Rosa Aurora Chávez-Eakle is largely accurate while Kazimierz Dąbrowsk is only slightly on point. I can see; nevertheless, how that it could all be the complete opposite with certain other artists.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. what a great post as always Mabel. i admire you for pursuing what really matters in your heart because at the end of the day, it is what makes you happy that counts. more power to you! great photos! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  40. When you write that “[c]reating art with far-fetched ideas, there’s the feeling anything’s possible. You feel the possible right within you”, it reminded me of the feeling that I have for Creative Writing. I’ve always been on the language side of things. It was evident on my academic scores. The grades that I score for language would always be higher than Math and Science. I kind of like how Law integrates a minute bit of creativity when it comes to expecting the arguments from the opposing counsel. Or, preparing the oral arguments/written submissions to defend a client (as what we had to do for the advocacy/mooting stream in the course). And that’s when my Creative Writing side kicks into overdrive.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do love law (otherwise, why am I doing the degree? =) ). It’s just that Creative Writing allows a platform for all of the creative ideas to breathe through the words that we bash on the manuscript or blog posts. I would love to do a degree in Creative Writing if I have the opportunity to. Maybe somewhere later in the future.

    Once again, thank you for such an inspiring post, Mabel!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is amazing how you can be so versatile in what you do, and that you will make it through the law

      degree. With creative writing on your side, it sounds like it is a great way for you to express your

      innermost thoughts and honest feelings. I do think it is beneficial to have diverse interests and

      actually take the time to do different things that speak to us, whether it be for a month or two or for

      years and years on end – it helps with looking at things in a new light, and also learning.

      Always another time to do creative writing. That’s me and photography. I always keep telling myself to

      take more photos and work on photography but with work and writing it really is impossible. You wonder

      some day…and then you wonder some more and it can do your head in 😀

      p/s: I had trouble commenting on your blog. I hope my comment went through 🙂

      Like

      • That’s the only way I retain my mental sanity. I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with the tremendous stress of Law if it weren’t for Creative Writing. As what my Creative Writing lecturer would say, there is no such as the ‘ideal time’ or ‘ideal place’ for writing. Perhaps you could dabble in photography on the weekends? Practice makes perfect 😛

        Ah, yes. The comment went through. 🙂

        Like

        • That is so true. There is no ideal or perfect time, only a time that is better. Been working literally all week, seven days a week these days so it is hard to find time for photography. Somehow there is always time for writing 😀

          Firefox doesn’t seem to like me commenting on your blog again. But all okay with Internet Explorer 🙂

          Like

  41. I have not yet released my post which was written over 6 months on my university degrees and career plus sideline lifelong dabbling in art, writing. But similar on different types of thinking in applied /hard sciences vs. humanities/arts.

    Totally agree that being a jack of trades draws upon from both left and right brain skills. But the same applies for those purely in technical/hard sciences especially if they invent/patent their own product, consulting….the business side demands effective communication with lay audiences, creative marketing and concentric thinking vs. linear thinking.

    A niece of mine, did her mining engineering university degree (I guess it’s geotechnical engineering) and did work for several years in the field, taking a few business trips in some more remote areas of the world.

    Now she is a romance writer: https://laurajardine.com/author/

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like an interesting post you wrote there on your study, career, life and art. If you decide to share it, I will most certainly read it.

      True that creativity is needed in countless situations, and really almost in everything that we do. Communication is a must if we were to survive and thrive in this world. Seems like your niece has had an interesting career. To travel places and be good at what she does, definitely need both the arts and scientific thinking caps on so often. I remember you mentioned about her and the romance writer a while ago 🙂 I hope she enjoys the writing 🙂

      Like

  42. Unlike you, I never liked math and just had to work twice as hard to even keep my head afloat. But later in my career, had to do basic number crunching since managing services demands service metrics for budget justification to support business cases.

    Like

  43. I so enjoyed learning more about you through this post Mabel.. And Loved the photo’s I was never very at Maths, though I did come third in my class in one science exam once at school.. But that was only because I was really interested in the subject .
    Art I was good at.. But we did not have exams for. English I got by.. If it were not for a great English teacher who helped me enjoy books, I probably would not be writing my blog today..

    Such a wonderful article you have written here.. So many good points..

    Love and Hugs.. Sue xxx

    Like

    • You are not the first to say this post was personal, lol 😀 Apart from sharing the same birthday, it seems that we share a talent for maths too. And you found your way to blogging and so writing and photography too. Two blogs too and it is very versatile of you to write on so many topics…and write from the heart. And we all love that and you also have a way of engaging so many bloggers from around the world 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  44. I feel balance is the key unless, of course, art can give you a decent paying job that keeps you satisfied (science will anyway give you).

    I am not too much into writing and creativity and took mathematics as I had to feed myself (and family later on), and thought about it at an early stage of my career.

    I would say you are better off though you might have gotten all those bashing from your mom.

    Enjoy your time around, Mabel…you know what you are doing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

Share your thoughts. Join the discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.