Over the past few days at work, I’ve found myself neck-deep in spreadsheets. It’s not the first time. Nor do I expect it to be the last. But it still stings. And this time, it’s produced an acute case of Nathanaelitis: “Can anything good come from Excel?”
Thanks to 73-year-old Excel artist Tatsuo Horiuchi — Yep. You read that correctly. Excel artist. — I now know that the answer to my petulant complaining is an emphatic “Yes!” (Also, I now know that Excel Autoshape Art Contests actually exist. I’m…not really sure how I feel about that.)
“I never used Excel at work but I saw other people making pretty graphs and thought, ‘I could probably draw with that,’” says 73-year old Tatsuo Horiuchi. About 13 years ago, shortly before retiring, Horiuchi decide he needed a new challenge in his life. So he bought a computer and began experimenting with Excel. “Graphics software is expensive but Excel comes pre-installed in most computers,” explained Horiuchi.
As I have frequently remarked/lamented in the past, I can’t draw. At. All. So people who can freak me out. Just a little. I’m also freaked out by people who can manipulate their spreadsheets as easily and artfully as an artist wields his brush. So I can’t decide whether to be encouraged that Horiuchi’s doing something I might actually be able to do (at some far lesser level), or doubly freaked out by his abilities.
If there is beauty to be found even here, is there anywhere it cannot be found? I might need to reevaluate everything.