August 17, 2018, 04:01:37 AM

Author Topic: Are you an Artist?  (Read 420 times)

Offline Yora

Are you an Artist?
« on: April 15, 2018, 08:24:57 PM »
With a capital A. Do you regard your writing not so much as an attempt to master expert craftsmanship in storytelling, but more as an expression of abstract ideas and ideals?

We don't have to make this about great artists, or even good artists. I certainly don't  see myself as one yet. But on some days I find myself being drawn deeply into stuff that I usually regard as pretentious bullshitting. Like the limited perception of reality and our distorted mental images of it, the meaning of faith, searching for subjective morality, the relationships between text, audience, and author, or how the medium of literature affects the message and can manipulate the reader. And I get really excited about working it into writing.  ;D

Anyone else making such considerations, or are you fully pushing this away into literary BS?
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Offline J.R. Darewood

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Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 03:18:37 AM »

On the literary vs. genre demarcation, I sit firmly on the side of genre pulp, but I still consider myself an artist. Anaïs Nin once said:  “It is the function of art to renew our perception.  What we are familiar with we cease to see.  The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.”

I think a lot of people define art in terms of form instead of function (is your prose-poetry experimental enough to be considered art? does it defy existing tropes and conventions?) But while I find genre conventions incredibly annoying (i should say INCREDIBLY annoying, esp when people tell me I *have* to write an archplot protagonist who wants something or a single POV i get so aggravated) and I like to break the boundaries where it serves me... but all that said, I'm much more interested in layering meaning in metaphors in a story that's designed to touch readers somehow, not make them puzzle things out. I'm certainly not trying to fit into literary conventions any more than I am genre conventions.  I'm just writing whats in my heart and not trying to be one thing or another.  I was in love with the symbolism we studied in English class, whether it was To Kill a Mockingbird or TH White's Arthurian novels, and the insights on life you could glean from reading, so I try to layer in a disillusionment plot or a less protagonist-centered reality when I can into my novels which are essentially D&D nostalgia.  My short stories on the other hand, do at times probably qualify as literary.

I think it's largely about intent: i want to convey new ideas to my readers, evoke new and unexpected feelings.  Commercial writers are just trying to sell books. 

I've written on what I think art is here, if anyone's interested:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/bradley-darewood/thoughts-on-art-in-cali/1423802314549583/

Offline Skip

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 04:41:22 AM »
I've written two novels, two novelettes, and four short stories, and I still feel like the only thing I'm aiming at is just getting the story told. Or, to put it another way: yes. To both.

Writing a story is still mysterious for me, so yeah I do spend a lot of time and attention on learning the craft. Because there definitely are concrete things to learn.

At the same time, I do seem to be driven to write. I've never not written, though I went many years without writing fiction. It's not to express ideas or ideals. Rather, I get a notion about a character or a situation or even just a scene, and I want to tell that story. So there's something in there, chewing over stuff, coming up with ideas. Or ideals.

Going through the world day by day, living, is like breathing in. Writing is like exhaling.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 04:11:07 AM »
I so badly want to respond with a gif of the bit in In Bruges where Brendan Gleeson cheerfully talks about finding "a balance between culture and fun" that I seriously considered finding my copy of the film and making the gif myself. But laziness wins.

Offline Skip

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 04:33:05 AM »
I love that movie!

Offline Yora

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 08:57:09 AM »
I think if you can't do both (not that you have to), you're doing it wrong.
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Offline Alex Hormann

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 10:29:49 PM »
I would not consider myself an Artist, no. I would call myself a storyteller, and literature is just the medium I choose to tell that story.

I'm (fairly) sure there's a market for literature that goes into self-interrogation and questions the nature of the human experience, but I find such things get in the way of telling a good story. At the end of the day, I just want to entertain people.

Offline NedMarcus

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2018, 01:35:04 AM »
Do you regard your writing not so much as an attempt to master expert craftsmanship in storytelling, but more as an expression of abstract ideas and ideals?

Your definition of art/artist is not one I recognize. For me art is about seeing the world through my own eyes, writing with my own voice, and expressing myself in a way no one else can. None of which is anywhere near as easy as it sounds. So by my definition of art, then yes, that's what I aim for. I'm still working on achieving it.

I think literary BS is far removed from art  :D

Offline Skip

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 01:58:34 AM »
I don't believe in literary BS. The people I know who write literary fiction are earnest and serious, though they vary widely in skill and commitment. I would not presume to call BS on people I do not know.

Now, there's plenty of lit fic that I don't like. But just because I don't like it doesn't make it BS. That is not one of my superpowers.
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Offline Yora

Re: Are you an Artist?
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2018, 06:23:06 AM »
Do you regard your writing not so much as an attempt to master expert craftsmanship in storytelling, but more as an expression of abstract ideas and ideals?

Your definition of art/artist is not one I recognize. For me art is about seeing the world through my own eyes, writing with my own voice, and expressing myself in a way no one else can.
I consider that very much to be an expression of abstract ideas and ideals.
Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

There is nothing to read!