I wrote to my brother about my art, how I was feeling good about it until last Saturday. You may recall the mood I was in when I wrote that day. And Ben, like the awesome guy that he is, wrote back regaurding my artwork. He said that “art standing by itself is almost invariably of less value than art applied to something.” After illustrating this point, he gave this advice; “If I were to give you a suggestion it would be to see what you can do by way of combining your ability to create images with your desire to create a faerie tale feel, probably aming for an effective child’s story. Keep the story/writing simple and short and remember that it does not have to make sense completely to use your images to tell much of it.”
My first reaction was, “Oh my goodness, he thinks I should write children’s books.” Anybody who has actually been keeping up with my blog posts may recall that I have ranted about this before. Teachers and other people have told me that I could write and illustrate children’s books. I don’t quite remember what I said in that earlier blog post, but it was probably something on the lines of “Have you guys loooked at any children’s books lately?” Maybe I grew up to Dad reading The Eleventh Hour as a bedtime story. Have you guys read any Greame Base books? You should. They are gorgeous. But anyway, my mental reaction to the claim that I could write and illustrate children’s books has always been, “Don’t be rediculous.”
But I tend to give my brother a bit more credibility than my teachers or the ladies at my church. Because he’s seen the process. As I’ve said before, the experience that the creater has is way different than the one on the recieving end of things. Maybe I also give him more credibilty because he didn’t outright say ‘you could write children’s books.’ He always has an interesting way of wording things. And maybe it is also because he doesn’t imply that what I do could or should be published. It makes the suggestion less of a ‘don’t be rediculous’ kind of thing.
Well, I pondered what he said, and seeing as I’m having a bit of an artist block (featured guys are not nearly as easy to work with as featured females), I decided to look up Greame Base. This is so me. If all else fails, do a google search. So I googled him. And it turned out to be really interesting. Something you must know about me is that I love ‘behind the scenes’ stuff. I love watching special features and commentaries on movies, I love looking at all the background information that they give you on your program when you go to see a performance, and I like interviews and documentaries that talk about the creative process. I love, love, love it. I just eat it up. And I found an interview with Greame Base.
Such a neat experience. I mean, when you’re a kid (well actually, I think I was an early teen when I read some Greame Base books other than The Eleventh Hour) and you are looking at all these beautiful pictures (and they are gorgeous) it doesn’t usually occur to you that, “Hey, I could just hop on youtube and actually see this guy’s face and hear him describe to us who he is and how is work is created.” It just brings things a little closer. And the interview ended with a certain website (www.authormagazine.org) and there I listened to two more interviews; Tamora Pierce- who’s books I haven’t read, but I remember seeing her name as I walk through the selves of the library, and Louis Sachar- who wrote the Wayside School stories and will always have a place in my heart for that reason. And that was especially interesting, because not only have I read those books, but I’ve heard his voice reading those books on the book on C.D that I was listening to a few weeks ago. So I read his books, then heard his voice, and the interview was a video, so I could see his face. Also while I was at this site, I read an artical titled; Writing Sucks, Don’t Do It. Or something like that.
Facinating. Especially these people who make a living off of their creative works. That is crazy. It takes… faith, for lack of a better term than ‘crazy.’ Like Louis Sachar, when he was talking about being torn between law and writing and how he kept thinking, “I should get a job, I should get a job.” And then he said, “And I kept telling myself that for four years.” Then he realized that he had already made his decision, so he should stop kicking himself about it. Wow.
Creative people are crazy, but I have the highest respect for them. Moreso when I realize how crazy they are. It makes me wonder about the stuff I do. Maybe if I’m to actually do something with this, I’m going to have to be a bit more passionate.
I just remembered something from National Treasure.
Ben: “Go one step short of crazy, what do you get?”
Wriley: “…. Obsessed?”
Yep. So here I am knocked in to a contemplative stupor. Again. Human beings amaze me. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio” and all that. And this was all put into motion by something my brother said in an e-mail. It’s all so very… interesting.