Geek / Technical Personal Development

Taking Advantage of Downtime #8035dsm

I’m not a huge live music fan.

I mean, when I go, I find I enjoy myself, but I don’t tend to actively seek out concerts and bands to listen to.

This weekend is the 80/35 music festival here in Des Moines, and my wife and I go every year, partly because she’s a big live music fan.

There are local bands, but the festival tends to find big names, such as Modest Mouse, Wu-Tang Clan, Cake, and The Flaming Lips. People I would have heard of as a casual music fan.

Last night we saw Wilco play, and today we’re looking forward to Weezer.

It’s like the dream of the 90s is still alive in Des Moines.

We like to bring a blanket, set up a few lawn chairs, and hang out with friends while enjoying the music from afar.

Wilco at 80/35 from afar

And I like to bring my doodle book. Since the beautiful people of Iowa tend to show up at music festivals, and I’m just sitting there, it’s like getting a free life drawing class in, although with less nudity.

Sometimes people sit still for long periods of time, and sometimes they move quickly and I can only get the barest sketch in.

Doodle Book from 80/35

I like people-watching, and I enjoy doodling, even if I’m not a trained artist. So I enhance the experience of listening to live music with a fun way to practice my drawing skills.

It’s not work, so it isn’t like I’m forcing myself to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my day, ruining any sense of enjoyment I have for life during what is supposed to be my downtime.

But at the same time, improving my drawing skills can help with my game design. If I can sketch out something that’s in my head more accurately, it makes it easier to communicate my intent.

But I don’t set a quota of drawings. I don’t force it. I just draw.

And I found doodling is a lot less annoying to the people around me than practicing my analytical skills by wondering aloud about the design of the light show or the logistics of setting up the concert. B-)