Thursday, July 08, 2010

Art & Crap

There's a fantastic book out there that I've been meaning to get, Art & Fear. It has great anecdotes and advice about making art, or Art. I have a few nonfiction books to work through, so I'm not overly concerned about getting it just yet, but the book certainly comes to mind now and again. Mainly when I'm writing stories.

It came right to the fore when I was slogging through the 30 Days Project. Hell, or hell-like. Certainly reminiscent of brimstone and repurposed Pan imagery, anyways. Because, as you'll notice, through my thirty posts (15,000+ words(!!!)), and to be fair, through almost every other participants thirty posts, there are nearly no comments. Which, I assumed, was one of the draws of the 30 Day Project. Get feedback, support, community of artists, etc.

Poor naive me of thirty plus days ago.

The whole process helped me with come up with a revelation I call "Art & Crap". Which is tangentially related to the bits of Art & Fear I've read that really rung true to me.

Art & Crap goes like this:
1) No one cares about your crap.*
2) Those who care about your crap will only care enough to tell you how crap you crap is.
3) People will genuinely care about your crap when it's too late.
4) Only you can give a crap about your crap.

Which is kinda related to this. A most excellent comment about the whole creative endeavour by one of my mostest favouritest web comics, Subnormality (the comic is easier to read when you think of it more as a blog with pictures, as opposed to a webcomic).

This rule of mine, that I made up and I'm sure is just a poor rendition of a better observation by a more learned mind is immensely helpful to me now. Waiting or hoping for feedback from people in order to keep you doing your work is the quickest way to drink or an alarming bill at the nearest transgendered clown and pony brothel.

And yet, don't you know, it's something I tend to fall in sometimes. But thankfully I have a little series of pat rules to get me out of it. They may not be entirely true, but true enough for my purposes, anyways.

*friends and family don't count, they pretty much have to either feign interest or develop a rare and temporary vision impairment.


Gemmy said...

What about fake friends, do they count?

Chris B. said...

This post is metacrap.


Lagged2Death said...

I believe I tried to read "Art and Fear" last year and found it disappointingly vague and full of (IMHO) woo metaphysics and whatnot. Which doesn't mean it can't be useful to someone else, of course.

I found it really hard to compose comments during the 30 days project, as if my small pool of creative instincts had been drained by the endeavor itself. And I'm too timid, too quiet to be a really good forum participant at the best of times, anyway.

I think getting useful feedback in an on-line environment is always tough. Even in forums explicitly dedicated to constructive criticism, the comments that emerge are often too brief to be anything but hurtful. Who wants to invest ~20 minutes into writing some constructive criticism when there's a good chance the target will just ignore you, after all?

For what it's worth, I enjoyed reading The Ballad Of Bill. And one result of the project is that I've RSSed this blog; BEWARE.

Jenn said...

Sorry to hear that you didn't get the feedback and support that you were looking for from the project. I didn't participate but I know when I do NaNoWriMo, it's all I can do to pound out my own word count and I couldn't imagine trying to read other people's stuff too.

And I'll confess, while each and every one of your posts showed up in my google reader, I didn't read them either. Mostly because I was too busy with my own . . . crap.

Oh, and I should probably add that I got sent over here by a friend of yours. I think he goes by 'The Nighthawk' online.

The Nighthawk said...

Signed, stamped and sealed, you got me pretty much nailed there bud. And humourous to boot!


Niteowl said...

Course, I should be able to rely on my internet friends (yes they do count) to tear my whole theory to shreds, with comments and feedback. OHhhh, you're a devious lot!

Niteowl said...

Lagged : That's true, it was pretty difficult to think of something to say during those 30 days. Sweet news that you've RSSed my blog! Now I'll stop posting!

Jenn: Thanks for reading! And commenting! Ah, Nighthawk, good guy! And sheesh, NanoWriMo, that's so much worse in so many ways. Mainly wordcount :P Congrats on getting through it!

Cheese, NH; YO!