Tag: art

I Could Do That – what does that really say about us (as fans and as #authors)? Is it different for #art than it is for #writing?

I Could Do That – A discussion on what it really means when someone says that, how we define art, what creates value in art (e.g. based on the individual audience member?), and how much the art can (or should) be separated from the artist/context and also can (or should) the art be separated from what the piece was meant to communicate?

Would definitely be curious to see what writer-colleagues would say. Is it the same for the written word?  Is it easier to separate books and stories from those four words? Or more difficult because “everyone has a story to tell?”

 

 

http://dekhvideo.com/to-those-who-have-looked-at-art-and-thought-i-could-do-that-an-art-curator-explains-why-you-couldnt/

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Guest (Re)Post: Anthony Dobranski – Using your Dreams in Life and Art

Dreamjournal on NightstandAt a recent party with fellow writers, I mentioned my last story had come to me in a dream. People seemed surprised, which I found surprising. Dreams have been essential to me, both in art and in life, and to hear other writers don’t use them is like hearing they don’t use their legs.

Dreams are not messages from beyond or from some benevolence inside oneself. They are a cognitive filing act to help store and retrieve information. This is why dreams are hard to remember. They are not meant to be saved.

My personal belief is that they lay the groundwork of intuition and creativity — the mind connects what you just learned against what you already know and experience, creating associations that allow you cognitive leaps. An unprovable opinion, but it works well for me.

But, just as analyzing urine tells doctors what your organs cannot, dreams contain information you can use. For a writer of the fantastic especially, dream images and scenarios are a rich inspiration. Dreams help with living too. In dreams, you see things you wouldn’t let yourself see in waking life, without a fully functioning you to object to them, to deny them. For one example of many, a dream of a three-way with an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend fully cured me of any resentment about the breakup. Not that it revealed repressed attractions — only that I had lost sight of the difference between loving, and winning. (And perhaps that there was no love on offer, for me or my successor. At least, that’s how it turned out.)

To get your dreams, you have to do a little work. Spend a couple of weeks trying to remember them on waking, and put down what you do remember. You may have better luck with pen and paper or a voice recording – I think the backlighting of a smartphone or a computer screen scares them away, as does the greater dexterity required to use the device – but, whatever works.

Ponder them. They are your dreams and no one else’s. The reductive vocabulary that says water means money or flying means sex is what charlatans or fools have sold since at least the beginning of writing. Yes I know I’m gathering up Freud and Jung in that — but, seriously, how could it be otherwise? Our individual lives change our mental associations over decades — how could we collectively share them over millennia?

BoschThe story of the dream is the easiest to remember, but there is great value in the setting, the rendering of the dream world itself. Our dream-mind is not just an actor. It directs, it designs sets, it chooses viewpoints. It makes a you in the dream, and another you watching it. It is cast and crew and audience, reader and writer and unwitting subtext. There is knowledge in all of it. I have seen complex visual and verbal meanings in dream settings, even jokes and puns, wholly separate from what seemed to be the story, and as densely encoded as the art of Hieronymous Bosch or Geoff Darrow.

I hope this serves you well. For all my attention to my dreams, I never got to the point of “lucid dreaming,” of taking control of my dreams and acting in them consciously. I don’t know why but it never felt right. I didn’t want my dreams to be a new world; I wanted them to expand my powers in this one.

Reposted from: http://anthonydobranski.com/2015/01/12/use-your-dreams-in-life-and-art/#more-579

Image from Martha Harper Dream Journals.

 

Anthony DobranskiTony – I was born in 1966, 900 years after the Battle of Hastings. Libra and horse. My Polish immigrant parents settled in the Washington DC suburbs. After graduating from Yale and some youthful adventures I worked internationally for America Online in the 1990s.

I live in the city of Washington now, with my family. When not writing I ski, skate, and walk in parks. I want to learn tennis and I want to get a 3-d printer. I read novels but also magazines: news, politics and science. I love movies.

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Video Saturday – Jeffery Deaver – Why #Writing is Art vs. Craft

On October 5th, I posted a video from Malcolm Gladwell that alluded to the idea that perhaps writing does still have that bit of mystery; that it is art.  Today’s video is from bestselling mystery author Jeffery Deaver and he talks about how writing is craft.  It is about the planning, the down-and-dirty work and the rewriting to get a finished, polished product.

Jeffery Deaver is the international bestselling author of more than 26 novels including the Lincoln Rhyme series (the latest of which is The Kill Room). His books are sold in 150 countries and have been translated into twenty-five languages. His book Am Maiden’s Grove was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature film from Universal Pictures starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Deaver was born outside of Chicago, attended the University of Missouri and received his law degree from Fordham University.

 

 

And just as a personal note, Jeffery is an all around good guy.  When asked, he wrote a great blog post for the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act about his character Lincoln Rhyme and writing a protagonist with a disability.

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Why #Writing is Still Art

Today’s video is a short excerpt from a longer talk given by Malcolm Gladwell on “Why People Succeed.” Gladwell is a journalist, author, and speaker. He has written 5 books: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (2005), Outliers: The Story of Success (2008), What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures (2009), and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (2013). The first four all made the New York Times Bestseller list.  If you haven’t read his stuff, I will say that the Tipping Point was fascinating and awesome.  His books often deal with the unexpected implications of research in the social sciences. Granted, I know there is some controversy as to his interpretation of research but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

This video doesn’t quite match the title.  Gladwell is talking about “learning from experts” and how explanations of how one achieves a specific success may not be accurate.  He is doing it in the context of tennis and applications of his theory to market research.  I would expand his explanation to the ideas of writing.  We talk to successful writers and ask how they write.  How they work out problems, build beautiful worlds, craft empathetic characters, etc.

Some people write brilliantly and well, but their explanations of how they do it may not be accurate; they may be doing things instinctively.  We, as those seeking answers, are operating on an assumption.  That writers can explain the magic. Yes, there is skill and technique attached to writing. But at the same time…perhaps there is still a bit of mystery.  The thing that makes it art.  How a bunch of disjointed words can come together and give us visions of a whole new world or philosophy, how stories can move us to laugh or cry, or just think more deeply.

Just some thoughts.  Take a look at the video and let us know what YOU think.


Weapons of Mass Creation by Angryblue

Weapons of Mass Creation by Angryblue
Weapons of Mass Creation poster by Angryblue (Justin Kamener)

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Site Revamp

Unleaded has been off the air as we have been in the midst of deciding exactly what it is that we envision for this site. The result of all of this discussion and soul-searching has been the decision to scrap Unleaded in its current incarnation and plan a complete revamp and reopening of the site/podcast.

So stand by! The relaunch is scheduled for July 1st. Look for some exciting new tips and information by authors, publishers and of course yours truly…and the rest of us struggling writers-yet-to-be.

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