Monday, December 21, 2009

An Artsy Fartsy Guest Post

Hi there, as Mel is probably singing "It's a Small World After All" in Disney Land right now I am guest blogging today. My name is Nichole Lewis and I am an artist, writer, and leader of the Horror, Dark Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance sub-group of the Sylvanopolis Writers' Society. My post will focus on how art and writing affect each other, both in the creative process and in the finished product.

Much of my art is fantasy based, and for me the first spark of a drawing is similar to the first spark of a story. I become obsessed with the art, I see the finished product in my minds eye, and until I begin the initial pencil drawing, I always have a nagging little voice in the back of my head saying "You should be working on this." This process is similar to that of most writers starting out on a story, when they and delving into new characters and creating a new world.

Drawing also helps me understand my character's better. When drawing them, I have to constantly think "what do their clothes look like?" "what color is their skin, hair, or eyes?" As with writing, my drawn characters can change greatly from beginning to end. Something as little as a piece of jewelry or the way that I draw a smile can open up a whole new dimension of the literary work. (for example, while drawing a broach on one character I decided to add magical powers to it so that my character could slide through the normal world to a fantasy realm without loosing time in the normal world).

If I am working on a story for a while I will re-vamp the images as their characters become more developed. This focus on detail doesn't limit itself to my canvases, as when I am writing, I often will ask myself what they look like and how the setting looks. I also notice that when I critique works of artists who do not regularly draw their characters that they often forget to include details like their character's appearance and details about their setting. Mention of color is rarely used with writers who do not draw their characters. Though not so bad if the story is set within our world, this deletion of detail can prove hazardous within a fantasy world, as the reader may become frustrated with trying to provide too much of the detail on their own.

So even if you aren't the next Brian Fround, drawing out your characters may help you get some insight on their appearance, how they interact within the story, and what the setting looks like.


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