Complimenting Arts

I believe undoubtedly in the concept and ability of creation; the notion that humans can take nothing but a thought and manifest it into a beautiful physical something. The creative ability to do such things are usually summed up into the arts. The people who indulge in these arts or called artists. Artists are normally quite creative; and an individual’s creativity is rarely bound to the limits of one art.

Well, over the last weeks, I have gone on a binge to access what would I like to contribute to the arts through my writing. I started with the widest view that I could possibly start with, which was to look at all of the arts together — literary, performance and visual. What I quickly realized, is something that I already knew but did not have an explanation for.

“Sometimes you cannot completely express what you feel or see internally through just one art form; no matter how talented you are.”

Is this true? Maybe; maybe not. It is my perspective on it though. As always, I’m open to different opinions, so please provide feedback if you disagree.

So since is the way I feel about it, I set myself out on a mission to find another art form to practice to compliment my writing. Or if not to compliment, at least to give me another avenue of expression. Words do not resonate with everyone like they do with the people who read and write as hobbies. Even myself for example, I find it extremely difficult to express love for particular person in words. Even as poetry, I feel as though something has been lost in the written translation. I tried to explain this to a friend before:

Me: It’s easy for me to write about love in general; but I can’t do it when it’s about someone.

Friend: Maybe it’s because you don’t love them.

Me: Maybe you should hang yourself.

Some levels of intimacy have to be seen (my perspective). I am a very visual person. Sometimes when any emotion, not just love, reaches a high point, words can only scratch the surface of what is felt. With that being said, even though I cannot always get the words out in what seems to be in the correct order, I have an image in my head that seems to embody all that I feel. That is why I will be making an effort to extend some of my creativity to the visual arts. I have always had a love for paintings and drawing, but primarily from a viewing standpoint; not creating. It maybe long and difficult, but I believe the results will be rewarding.

Classical writer/painters include the popular e.e. cummings, Henry Miller, and William Blake. They all worked from both sides and did exceptional in each of the crafts. Even though they are known predominately for their writings, those paintings came from somewhere within them and reached people that there words might not have reached. Those painting provoked thoughts that the words would not have, and gave depth to what might have been shallow if only written. On the other hand, Pablo Picasso wrote poetry heavily after years of perfecting his painting styles, but to me, most of that which I read was just as confusing as his cubism. That is just my opinion though; I like early Picasso.

I will probably dabble in a bit of a few the arts though, including classic dance, sculpting and a return to spoken word. Considering I haven’t done spoken word successfully in seven years, is more intimidating than the uncharted arts. Either way, I conclude that in every creative mind there are multiple routes to get to the same point. In exploring what I do, I look forward to exploring how I do them.

Leave feedback. Tell me if there are hobbies/arts that you join together to express your ideas.

Quality or Quantity – Part 2

The other night I posted on the topic of quality or quantity. That short post took a little over two hours to write, even after I had noted and thought about the topic throughout the day. (Check it out HERE.) It didn’t matter though because i have to go over everything over and over again before I’m comfortable with it.

After I wrote part one, I had the idea to defend my position on why I take as much time as I do when editing even something as small as a 600 word blog post. To do so, I decided to write this showing the difference in what a few extra minutes of revisions can make. Even though the length of these two posts are about the same, the time that it took to produce this one is on a limit of thirty minutes. I’m cutting the time. Like I said in part one of this topic, I would love to improve on the time that it takes me to write and complete a project. However, until I get to that point, these are the type of things that you will be reading if I start focusing on quantity before I have developed an acceptable quality that matches that desired speed. It’s called efficiency, I think. Because I know if you had to force yourself to read pass all of this grammatical nonsense every time you read something with my name on it, it would not be long before you just gave up on me all together… and I wouldn’t blame you. I can’t read crap either. Anything worth appreciation takes time. If you can produce something worth appreciation quickly, it took time for you to grow develop that efficiency. It’s called patience, I think.

This is just an example of what you would be subjected to if I put myself on a limit that is too demanding for my skill level. It produces crap. I’m not ashamed of this post because it’s an illustration of what writers go through before they share something with their readers. As a matter of fact, I’m sure this is a lot better simply because I know there will be people reading it. Some times I write from scraps of paper that I took notes on throughout the day. Once I put it on paper, it’s still the same crap, now just consolidated to one editable location. Then I have to cut out the useless and insert better word and sometimes by the time I’m finished, not that was on those scraps of paper is in the completed work, but the ideas are the same. I am very curious to see how that process works for artists in other areas, but I’m sure 99% of writers can relate to what I’m saying now. If you think you can just grab some notes from a writer and follow what he or she is thinking from those notes, you are wrong. Half the time, I don’t even know what my notes are pertaining to; I have to think and remember.

Useless image to back up the tangent that I just went on
Useless image to back up the tangent that I just went on

I’m going to wrap it up now. Notice that the title of this post is “Quality or Quantity – Part 2”, when it should be “Quality vs. Quantity – Part Two” so that it stays consistent. When focusing on quantity though, inconsistencies happen. In the previous paragraph, I went on a tangent about drafting, that had nothing to do with quality or quantity in the context that I am focusing on. I hope this provides a better illustration of how easy it is for a writer to produce crap. I did very little backspacing in this post and change only a few words to help get my point across.

END (because there has not been a lot of structure, and I want you to know that I’m done)

Quality vs. Quantity – Part One

As a writer, a type of artist if you will, I constantly have to revisit the theories of Quality vs. Quantity in regards to productivity. Anyone who practice anything will probably cross this path more often than they would like — I know I do.

For me, I have to decide whether or not I’m satisfied with the quality of what I have written before labeling it as completed. Quantity has never been a concern of my personal writings. I never consider word count; but I need for every word I write to count. I have only cared about quality. However, now that I blog, I try to stay consistent in posting. This keeps me on my toes about scheduling times to produce since I already know that I will not post anything thrown together. If I expect anyone to read and enjoy anything that I have written, I should at least see to it that I give them a level of coherency that makes the ready relatable and enjoyable. That’s what quality is for me in my art. It is very time consuming, but it’s worth my satisfaction in having just one appreciative reader.

I appreciate other peoples’ arts and the time that they put into what they do. More than anything else, I always look for the prep work. The prep work is what shows how serious a person is about their craft. Take a painter for example, at the end of the day all we see is the finished piece, and we may envision them painting it as we ask, “So what inspired you for this piece?” But consider the newspaper they collect to spread over the floors. Think about the fact that the room may have to be a certain temperature for the paints that they used. Think about all of what goes into an art before it is actually completed. That’s where the quality happens. You could just throw the turkey into an oven and let it cook; but consider the chef that prepares a brine for the turkey to soak in for sixteen hours BEFORE the cooking even starts. That’s where the quality happens. Think about the barber who cuts you a really nice hair cut; but then consider the barber who washes and conditions your hair first for more precise styling. That’s where the quality happens. Preparation is what I always look for in a completed work of any standard; that might have started when I started cooking though, to be honest.

The fact of the matter is that if I wrote one hundred books a year, and ninety of them were trash, the chances of the ten good ones making the best sellers list is still going to be pretty slim. However, if I produced twelve quality books a years, the chances of one of those twelve making it on the list would be pretty slim. The key is producing quality in large quantities. By the time your work has been filtered through to find only the good stuff that you have produced, those works may be considered lucky because of the low percentage. That’s why I refuse to label anything as complete if I am not satisfied with it. In the meantime I will focus on speeding up my methodology without sacrificing and quality.

So for this argument, I have to choose quality. I believe quantity without quality is simply a waste of time; shooting in the dark. I believe that discovered quality in a mound of quantity is luck; and I refuse to place my success in luck.