Cure for Digital Fatigue

Digital fatigue. Even though I always loved digital development – after all it’s my domain – I must admit that I sometimes grow tired of the era that we live in. The ever accelerating pace ahead; the constant releases of new innovations; the glorification of speed and efficiency; the gurus and the visionaries claiming their spot in the lime light.. If anyone agrees, I’d love to hear your thoughts! I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

My cure

At the age of 37, I decided to enter an intensive drawing education in classical realism at the Florence Academy of Art during 9 months. Little did I know that this would totally turn my world upside down for a while, in both terrifying and wonderful ways. I was taught techniques, craftsmanship and artistic wisdom of 700 year old masters, by some very skilled teachers who were artists themselves.

Instead of favoring speed, I was expected to spend several weeks on one drawing, working on every detail over and over again, using only my eyes, pencil or charcoal and eraser. Up until that point, I had always thought of myself as a meticulous person, but I now learned to reevaluate my creations many times more, to the point that I almost tore my hair in frustration. But the happiness, pride and feeling of honor when the drawing was finally done at last, was unbeatable. To have created something real and beautiful, using only my own two hands. It was worth every single second of struggle, and I learned that giving things time sometimes makes the whole difference. You learn so much more, when you can’t just press ctrl+z, use filters and layer masks etc.

It has in fact been one of the most educative things I have ever done in my life so far. To completely challenge my ways, skills and beliefs to such an extent, and I since feel that the experience has given me invaluable things also when working on more ’modern’ tasks. 

So I really hope this story can inspire someone, and I want to recommend everyone to step out of your comfort zone every now and then, and put yourself in completely new contexts. It will without a doubt teach you many things about yourself and the world. I also want to recommend trying working with your hands, following the old ways when things were allowed to take time. Those skills and that honor must not be forgotten as robots take over.

What’s your cure?