Tag Archives: inspiration

visual art and the written word

Writers can be influenced and inspired by various modes of art. For me, I have an affinity for visual art whether it is photography, painting, or sculpturing. Yesterday, I visited New York’s National Museum of the American Indian. The museum is located inside the historic Alexander  Hamilton U.S. Custom House. The outside statues were monumental and gorgeous. Anyway, there was a cool exhibition entitled, “Hide: Skin as Material and Metaphor.” In the exhibition, there were two artists presented: Sonya Kelliher-Combs and Nadia Myre. Both artists’ works were amazing and thought-provoking. I especially thought that Myre’s  “The Scar Project” was honest and life-affirming. I liked how she extended the concept of scars and visually represented them on canvases. In the book, The Scar Project (2010), she places the images with written text and entries (you can purchase the book at blurb.com for $189.95). For me, art is about self-expression and communication. Art has served its purpose when it makes the audience feel and question. Here’s the lesson that I learned from Myre: If there is a theme or concept you are interested in, explore it. Think of  creative ways you can expand and push the boundaries. Do not limit yourself. 

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you ain’t been bit by the writing bug?

Have you ever felt like you aren’t in the writing mood? When the manuscript looks you dead in the eye saying, “Girl, you better finish me,” but instead of finishing it, your response is “Not now.” And “not now” turns into weeks, months, and even years. Here’s a solution: At the University of Baltimore, we have a philosophy called “plork.” It’s a play on the words, “play” and “work.” It’s a philosophy that asserts that the creative process is exactly that–a process–and it is something that must be honed everyday. Creativity doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Take these words from the Plork Humanifesto: “Creativity is a practice not a talent.” Try doing that and see what magic occurs. Sometimes, as writers we rely too much on feeling inspired to write. Yes, you should feel passionate about your subject matter, but there will be times when you aren’t particularly inspired, so you have to push yourself.  Remember artists create something from nothing. Creativity lies within all of us. Let her out and she will reward you.

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