PDA

View Full Version : Artists Statements, World Views.



Kalyke
05-10-2008, 12:24 AM
I had a thought that interested me just now:

Just because writing has a bit more commercial possibilities than "painting," it is still a form of art. Fiction writing is in the Art department of a lot of Universities, not the English department. There is no real answer to a lot of questions about what the "correct" way to do something is. As a writer becomes more confident and mature, he/she is able to make better professional judgments regarding his/her work. A 16 year old trying to write a first novel after having written only a few English essays and a few poems and maybe a short story may need more "absolute" rules than a mature veteran who has been around the world, had many experiences and has written 30 books.

Each writer eventually creates a core theory regarding what he or she writes. I think that it has to do with your world view. Mailer saw the world as a cold cruel place and showed the hairy monkey for what it was. Some others may be interested in a more refined and joyful place. Although we say that stories come from our heads and hearts when it comes to actually writing them we back off, and ask experts what is "right." I went through years of writers block and plain disinterest in writing because I became worried about the "secret formula for success." Frankly, you do not know if your writing will sell or not until you have it together enough to finish the work, and then show it to publishing houses.

Jumping on the bandwagon is not going to help. Adjective free writing and Little Boy Wizards will be next years Avocado refrigerator. You have to do your own stuff, because you don't know if you will be the hot new property or not. (Hey, in the 50's and 60's multiple adjectives were in, not out).

Just like a painter, you find your place, hone your skills, work in silence with no certainty that your vision will create interest, and then you unveil it and take the good criticism with the bad. I feel that all writers should have develop a personal world view and also a "artist's statement." I'm like Mailer in a way. The world is not a nice place. My work tends to be a bit gamy, and characters are always on a balancing beam to reflect that thought that anyone had the capability to become perverse and to reject the rules-- you never know which way they will fall. I believe in chaos, where as others might believe in an orderly world.

Creation is a messy business, you grow and change as much as your characters.

I think everything in your writing reflects this world view. Just your choice of subjects-- something as simple as that, or the way your characters talk, what they say and don't say.

So what is your view? Have you developed an Artists Statement, or thought about it? Is your world view reflected in your books? Is your fiction the creation of an artist, or an employee?

Oh, I'm adding that a lot of these people who scare young writers are public school teachers, and often either failed novelists, or people who have never finished a novel at all. I wouldn't take writing advice from a no child left behind generation teacher.

Seif
05-10-2008, 12:37 AM
What a wondorous thing you have written.

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said it is a shame that so many creative and imaginative minds are constrained by convention.



So what is your view? Have you developed an Artists Statement, or thought about it? Is your world view reflected in your books? Is your fiction the creation of an artist, or an employee?


My view is a mixture: Islamic ethics/western philosophy/Sufi mysticism and political philosophy. So suffering is the condition of man, not nature (thank you Hobbes) and there are means to overcome this.

Artists Statement: I apologise for my ignorance but what is this?

Reflections: Of course it's what inspired me to write.

Definitely an artists - I visualise everything and translate images onto paper. That's the only way I can work and it is what works for me.

Thank you for this inspiring piece,

Kalyke
05-10-2008, 12:53 AM
Artists Statement: I apologise for my ignorance but what is this?



Hello Seif, thanks for the kind words: An artists statement is a usually very deeply thought out very personalized statement in which you can sum up why you are an artist, why you write what you write (or paint what you paint) If you could articulate your artists soul, what would it sound like.

There are many good examples, here is a nice one.

http://www.mollygordon.com/resources/marketingresources/artstatemt/

Toothpaste
05-10-2008, 12:56 AM
I don't think I really have one. I think I like to make people laugh, but I'm not sure I really have any kind of mission statement. Hmm . . .what's yours? Maybe if I see one I can figure mine out!

Kalyke
05-10-2008, 01:11 AM
I don't think I really have one. I think I like to make people laugh, but I'm not sure I really have any kind of mission statement. Hmm . . .what's yours? Maybe if I see one I can figure mine out!

I just posted an article on writing them. Like I said, you generally have to think about them for a long time. It took me years to get to mine, but once I did, what I was doing was not a matter of chance-- it had intention and a philosophy behind it.

Toothpaste
05-10-2008, 02:05 AM
I know. But sometimes a tangible example is the best way for some people to understand. Obviously, I needed a tangible example for my own purposes and requested one. I was also simply curious what yours was. If that is too personal a question, I'm sorry (though it seems odd you would find it personal considering you are asking others to post theirs). I was genuinely interested.

Kalyke
05-10-2008, 02:22 AM
Actually, I didn't ask anyone to "Post theirs." That said, you have every right to keep it personal. The main point was that even if it is personal, if you are writing from "the soul, rather than following generic rules" it will be reflected in your work, so anything you put out there will tell the world what you feel. (Reading a novel written using generic rules is as interesting as reading the back of a cereal box). My post was mainly a thought experiment designed to get novelists who had never thought of "their personal philosophy and how it is reflected in their writing" on paper. That was also why I posted it in that thread, but it has now been moved.

The reason it is written out is because many colleges, art galleries and prospective employers, possibly publishers, or even someone doing an interview with you may get to questions about the essence of your work: Not: "what is your present novel about," but "what do you write," in general. I gave a bit of a clue what mine would say when I said that I agree with Norman Mailer about the world being a cold, hard place, and I believe my writing reflects the harshness of this reality. Even understanding that I believed this much was something that I needed to put in the boiler for a few years because I could not believe that I was so pessimistic. I wanted to believe that every person was good deep down but what I have found in real life is that every person is an opportunist who will steal the curtains off a man's bed as he lays dying. (Perhaps not that melodramatic, but close).

Toothpaste
05-10-2008, 02:36 AM
Fair enough. And thank you for sharing your personal statement. I find after reading yours, a better sense of what my own is. Actually it is a bit funny because it is the total opposite. While not denying the cold harshness of the world, I also see light and love and a great sense of humour. I endeavor to write engaging energetic works, that may be oh so cynical, but at the same time give hope. I like dark humour a lot. But not bleak humour I suppose. Still will have to think about it. May have to ammend my post later.

As to the creation of a work of writing itself. I'm not sure if this is exactly the same point, but it may be along the same lines. I personally find it very frustrating when as you yourself pointed out, new authors ask if something is correct. As if there is someone who will be grading their creation at the end of the line.

However I also find it very frustrating when in the name of "art", no attention or thought is given to the "rules" of writing - grammar, story structure, etc. Now I am a firm believer in learn the rules then break them, but it is, more often than not, the people who have yet to learn them who decide they are capable of breaking them. Those who clearly have so much more to learn, who are the ones least likely to think they do.

I think also that art is not simply something created from an artist's soul, but is a true desire to communicate with an other. Keeping that in mind means thinking outside of our own hearts and heads, and using our rational thought processes as well. Which is probably where your artist statement idea comes in. Formulating in our heads a goal in what we wish to communicate with others, can be a very smart idea.

Much food for thought.

Matera the Mad
05-10-2008, 04:48 AM
I'm not an artist. I'm an esthetic engineer. :tongue

Phaeal
05-10-2008, 05:43 AM
I just take mine off the generator house in Galt's Gulch: I will live my life for no man, nor ask any man to live his life for me. Oh, and pass the cookies around. Everyone can use a cookie.

wrinkles
05-10-2008, 07:35 AM
Jumping on the bandwagon is not going to help. Adjective free writing and Little Boy Wizards will be next years Avocado refrigerator. You have to do your own stuff, because you don't know if you will be the hot new property or not. (Hey, in the 50's and 60's multiple adjectives were in, not out).


Oh, I'm adding that a lot of these people who scare young writers are public school teachers, and often either failed novelists, or people who have never finished a novel at all. I wouldn't take writing advice from a no child left behind generation teacher.

I have no idea about the quality of your writing. But one thing I have observed over the years: pomposity and creativity are almost never found together.

Jo
05-10-2008, 08:37 AM
I'm not sure if this is on track, but I'll give this a go...

I write for kids and paint for adults (but everyone is invited to enjoy). Both mediums are set out clearly and simply by me, and done in a way that follows today's "fashions"; i.e. rules. I guess you could call my work contemporary with a nostalgic edge. I've studied the current fundamentals and now mould them to suit my work. I use the rules as a tool to help shape my visions, not kill them. If the trends change, I'll learn about them and see if I can work with them. I live today, so write and paint for today, with a sprinkling of my past and future (wishes) mixed in for variety.

I'm a creativist. An imaginationist. I want people to dare to dream when they read my work. To escape reality and experience the incredible. OTOH, I paint realistic portraits (see avatar) as well as seascapes, etc. Nothing dreamy there.

I study people and places. The uniqueness of nature and mankind. The power and weakness of both. In painting, I capture a moment. In writing, I capture thoughts. Both create pictures and evoke emotion. Overall, I create things will last longer than I will. A piece of me--the child in me--for eternity, that reflects who and what I'm surrounded by, or wish to be surrounded by--today.

Kalyke
05-10-2008, 09:10 AM
.

I have no idea about the quality of your writing. But one thing I have observed over the years: pomposity and creativity are almost never found together.

however anyone needs a load of cajones to believe that anyone might be interested in the story they might want to tell. The prize is not for the meek. Pomposity is in fact a major attribute of a star, so I am not getting where the opposite is preferable. When I started to write, one of my first instructors said, "
So, what gives you the right to believe that I would want to hear anything you might have to say...

So.... having the ability to stand up and say-- Because My Story It The Best!!! Takes a lot of cajones. The average person will never get such a reading in life. You need to be better than average....

oh, adding that many believe creativity to be a "shamnistic" skill, often brought about by trauma. Frankly, exhibitionism helps.

Phaeal
05-10-2008, 05:25 PM
Guys, have a cookie. :e2cookie:

Life's already too short for art; it's definitely too short for posturing.

Exir
05-10-2008, 09:09 PM
I'm a very intuitive writer.

That means I say darn the rules, this looks good to me.

I think there is only one golden rule in writing: the story should present a problem that has to be solved.

Bubastes
05-10-2008, 09:20 PM
So.... having the ability to stand up and say-- Because My Story It The Best!!! Takes a lot of cajones. The average person will never get such a reading in life. You need to be better than average....

oh, adding that many believe creativity to be a "shamnistic" skill, often brought about by trauma. Frankly, exhibitionism helps.

I personally don't feel this way about my writing at all. Here's my attempt at distilling why I write in a succinct statement: because I'm incurably nosy. Other people are so interesting, and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so judging by the popularity of reality TV, gossip mags, novels, stories, blogs, etc. (thank goodness!). I like to observe people, real or imaginary, watch what they do and how they interact and wonder why they do X or Y. Stories allow me to record that and share it with others. For all practical purposes, it's not really MY story because I'm just the person documenting someone else's life to the best of my abilities, even if that someone is imaginary. I write under a pen name and keep my writing secret from pretty much everyone, which also reminds me that the writing is never, ever about me.

Writing is a way to keep me from becoming an annoying busybody. My characters can't hide anything from me. :D

mscelina
05-10-2008, 09:26 PM
:Wha:

I don't have time to come up with arteeste statements. I'm too busy writing.

BenPanced
05-10-2008, 10:14 PM
I think if this were more of a collective movement along the lines of dada and fluxus, it'd be easier to come up with some sort of a "this is my statement!" manifesto.

Me? I'm just here to meet guys.

Cranky
05-10-2008, 10:20 PM
I personally don't feel this way about my writing at all. Here's my attempt at distilling why I write in a succinct statement: because I'm incurably nosy. Other people are so interesting, and apparently I'm not the only one who thinks so judging by the popularity of reality TV, gossip mags, novels, stories, blogs, etc. (thank goodness!). I like to observe people, real or imaginary, watch what they do and how they interact and wonder why they do X or Y. Stories allow me to record that and share it with others. For all practical purposes, it's not really MY story because I'm just the person documenting someone else's life to the best of my abilities, even if that someone is imaginary. I write under a pen name and keep my writing secret from pretty much everyone, which also reminds me that the writing is never, ever about me.

Writing is a way to keep me from becoming an annoying busybody. My characters can't hide anything from me. :D

My sister! :roll:

I, too, am incurably nosy. People are endlessly fascinating, and there is a story behind every one of them, a reason for everything they say and do. I love trying to suss it out.

The inner worlds of people are so different and yet the same. That's why (imo) we see stories that can be broken down to (supposedly) similar plots, but the execution varies from person to person, and we get stories that feel new and interesting, even if it's just another version of something that came before.

SPMiller
05-10-2008, 10:38 PM
I missed my chance for a drive-by "this thread is too serious" post. So here it is:

This thread is too serious! :D

Kalyke
05-11-2008, 12:58 AM
I missed my chance for a drive-by "this thread is too serious" post. So here it is:

This thread is too serious! :D

Hey its hard coming up with ideas that haven't been done already.